SodaStream — Scarlett Johansson
PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR REASONS WITH SCARLET JOHANSSON
Jan 27, 2014
Dear Ms. Johansson,
I am writing you today to convey my deep concern and that of the Palestinian people with the position you have taken regarding your involvement with the occupation profiteer company, Sodastream. The unjust operation of companies like Sodastream in illegal settlements has laid a heavy burden on disempowered Palestinians. Maale Adumim, the third largest settlement in Palestine, is not only erected on land held by military force, but is also considered illegal by international law.
Your depiction of Palestinians working in Jewish settlements as neighbors “working alongside each other,” conceals the fact that Palestinians are being exploited as a captive labor force by illegitimate industries operating on their colonized land. Israel has rendered 99 percent of the so-called “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, where Sodastream operates, off-limit for Palestinian economic activity, while more than 68 percent of that occupied area is now reserved for settlement growth and expansion.
The IMF and the World Bank have declared that the military-imposed ban on Palestinian economic activity in this area remains “the main impediment facing a sustainable Palestinian economy.” By becoming the “Global Ambassador” of Sodastream, you are helping the settlement industry in furthering the political and economic oppression of Palestinians.
Ms. Johansson, as an ambassador of Oxfam, you once said:
“If you already have the spotlight shining on you, it’s great to direct that toward a cause you believe in and that you can stand behind. It’s nice to be a voice for people who don’t have a voice.”
We cannot agree more. We truly believe that you can use your voice to speak up for the Palestinian people today by immediately ceasing your involvement with Sodastream. On behalf of all Palestinians, I urge you to stand by the values you have always cherished through your long record of advocacy for those suffering of global poverty and social injustice, because Palestinians too, are yearning for freedom, justice, and equality.
Finally, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for a briefing meeting with you or any of your representatives. You can reach us directly at email@example.com
Ambassador Maen Rashid Areikat
The General Delegation of the PLO to the US
1732 Wisconsin Avenue NW