New York Post reports on Scarlett Johansson SodaStream statement that never happened

Scarlett Johansson

An image used by activists to call attention to Scarlett Johansson’s relationship with Israel occupation profiteer SodaStream (created by Rachele Richards / @DocR0cket)

The recent announcement that actress and Oxfam Ambassador Scarlett Johansson has been hired to promote Israeli occupation profiteer SodaStream has ignited a major controversy that is receiving a growing amount of press attention.

Human rights activists were quick to point out that SodaStream’s principal manufacturing facility is located in the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim, where its heavily Palestinian workforce labor under exploitative conditions.

SodaStream’s complicity in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank appears to be at odds with Oxfam’s stance on settlements: The charity previously cut ties with another Ambassador, Kristin Davis, over her work on behalf of settlement-based cosmetics firm Ahava.

Outlets as diverse as The Daily Mail, CNN, and The New Yorker have reported on the controversy.

While most coverage has focused on the nature SodaStream’s complicity in the Israeli occupation, and the possible ramifications for the future political career that Johansson has expressed interest in pursuing, The New York Post focused on Johansson’s response to the concerns raised by activists.

In an article entitled “Scarlett Johansson stands tall against Israel boycotters,” the Post’s Benny Avni praises Johansson for her “casual dismissal of the BDS crowd,” referring to the movement to pressure Israel to comply with international law through the use of boycott, divestment, and sanctions.

According to Avni:

[I]nstead of answering BDS jeers, she simply said she loves the brand and has used it for years, and that SodaStream’s “commitment to a healthier body and a healthier planet is a perfect fit for me.”

There’s just one problem: Johansson has issued no statement at all since activists raised the boycott issue following the announcement of her relationship with SodaStream.

The quote which Avni presents as a response to BDS activists is actually from the original press release issued by SodaStream to announce the deal on 11 January. Activists did not begin contacting Johansson or the media until after the release was issued and the first mainstream outlet to report on the deal and mention the existence of a boycott campaign was Israel’s Haaretz on 12 January.

The first mainstream press article to include any specific comment on Johansson by human rights activists, a post on Al-Jazeera’s blog The Stream did not appear until 13 January, and most mainstream outlets did not begin publishing such comments until even later.

Other outlets apparently drawing on Avni’s article, such as and Free Beacon, repeated the claim that Johansson had “dismissed” concerns raised by activists.

When asked on Twitter about why he had misrepresented an earlier statement from Johansson as being issued in response to a story that emerged later, Avni stated:

Apparently, Avni also believes that reporting the events he feels should happen is as good as reporting the events that did happen.




Besides everything else, the stupidity is breathtaking. Didn't she know about the Oxfam problem Kristen Davis had? I think the publicity she's bringing to the brand will be good news for BDS, bad news for Soda Stream.


Here is there reply'

Thank you for your email. Here is Oxfam's statement on this question:

"We are proud of our relationship with Scarlett Johansson who has worked with Oxfam since 2005 to support Oxfam’s mission to end poverty and injustice. As an Oxfam Global Ambassador, she has travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty, and she has helped to raise critical funds for life-saving and poverty-fighting work around the world. We deeply value her support.

Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors. However Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.

We have made our concerns known to Ms Johansson and we are now engaged in a dialogue on these important issues."

Thank you for your support
Best Regards

The Oxfam International Team

The Oxfam International Secretariat
Oxfam International | Oxford, UK |


an international coalition of women is answering to the woemn of Gaza the claimed about lack of all: electricity, drinckable water, oil, medical devices, etc...
please, spread this action that can demonstrate to the small brain of Scarlett there is real women with real preoccupations.

Abraham Greenhouse

Abraham Greenhouse's picture

Abraham Greenhouse is a longtime Palestine solidarity activist based in New York City. Follow him on Twitter as @grinhoyz.