In a bizarre instance of life imitating art, actress, Scarlett Johansson, known to her fans as the Black Widow, a Russian spy turned American agent in the Marvel Comics series, found herself working on behalf of a sinister organization.
On February 4, Johansson relinquished her title of Oxfam ambassador, ending an eight-year relationship with the BDS organization over a “fundamental difference of opinion.”
The “fundamental difference of opinion” being Oxfam, an international injustice confederation, threatens Israeli and Israel-friendly businesses through boycotts, divestments and sanctions (BDS) and Johansson endorses the Israeli brand – SodaStream.
Johansson came under fire for her appearance in a SodaStream ad which ran during last month’s Super Bowl. Choosing to keep her role as spokesperson for SodaStream, Johansson said she supported trade and “social interaction between democratic Israel and Palestine,” and left Oxfam.
One would expect SodaStream, an in-home carbonate system, to become a target of soda giants Pepsi and Coca-Cola; not be the latest is a series of Israeli and Israeli-friendly businesses to come under attack by a nefarious organization and its BDS movement partners.
Boycotts against Israel are nothing new. Israeli boycotts have been conducted for decades. The difference now being that the boycotts are professionally organized, backed by prominent political muscle. Only with the financial support of the Oxfam, the Ford Foundation, Open Society International, and chartered religious organizations can BDS activists conduct its political warfare on its primary target – Israel.
In fact, Open Society International has committed $100 million to the BDS movement until the year 2020. Just how much money has been committed by other backers is difficult to trace. According to the NGO Monitor, “As there are limited legal requirements for public reporting of private donations, in many cases, there is no information regarding the funding provided by foundations.”
The boycott, divestment and sanctions movement operates through hand-picked non-government organizations (NGOs) who then pay activists to enact tactics of ‘trade justice’ through ‘Action Days.’
Monitoring and Rapid Response teams are dispatched to thwart projects and initiatives which recognize or cooperate with Israel. Awareness Raising & Training activists and organizations conduct analysis, and streamline standards of BDS campaign work through workshops and its BDS campaign website (www.bdsmovement.net).
According to the NGO Monitor, “BDS activists lobby stores not to carry Israeli products and encourage others not to purchase them. They send letters to artists, musicians, authors, and academics, imploring them not to perform and appear in Israel or cooperate with Israeli institutions…[Activists] accuse companies that conduct business in Israel of involvement in war crimes and violations of international law. The NGOs approach investors, primarily large banks and pension funds, and push for the exclusion of these companies.”
SodaStream is the latest company targeted by the BDS movement. Hewlett-Packard has been targeted for its “Smart City” biometric access control technology used at West Bank security checkpoints. Motorola has been targeted for selling radar detection and communication systems to the Israeli Army. (A ticking bomb is featured on the HangUpOnMotorola.org BDS campaign website.) Lastly, Caterpillar Inc. has come under fire for helping in the rebuilding efforts of Israeli neighborhoods. (BDS supporters live under the belief that “CAT provides Israel with the bulldozers, specially designed for weaponization.”)
Johansson and her solidarity with SodaStream was commended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his recent AIPAC address in Washington DC last week. Netanyahu urged the audience not to “fall for the BS in BDS.” The Prime Minister went on to say, “BDS stands for bigotry, dishonesty and shame. Those who oppose BDS, like Scarlett Johansson, should be applauded.”
As much as Johansson wants to remain apolitical in the midst of the SodaStream controversy, she seems to be on the “right side of the moral divide” siding with the free market, exposing shadowy organizations who fund economic warfare and subterfuge.
Perhaps Johansson’s Marvel character can be reprised playing opposite villainous protagonist, Soda Jerk, played by none other than the Open Society founder as the evil philanthropist.