Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Oxfam accepts Johansson resignation

Scarlett Johansson is ending her relationship with Oxfam

Oxfam International has said Scarlett Johansson's support of an Israeli company operating in the West Bank was incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.

The 29-year-old actress announced she was ending her relationship with the charity Oxfam after being criticised over her support for an Israeli company operating in the West Bank.

Oxfam said it accepted her resignation. The international humanitarian organisation said it believes SodaStream and other businesses operating on the West Bank contribute to the "denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support."

The charity said it opposes all trade from the Israeli settlements "which are illegal under international law."

Johansson's spokesman said she had "a fundamental difference of opinion" with Oxfam International because the humanitarian group opposes all trade from Israeli settlements, saying they are illegal and deny Palestinian rights.

"Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years," a statement said. "She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."

Earlier this month, the star of The Avengers and Her signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International and she will appear in an advert for the at-home soft drinks firm during the Super Bowl on February 2.

SodaStream has come under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for maintaining a large factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians.

In response to the criticism, Johansson said last week she was a "supporter of economic co-operation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine".

Oxfam took issue with Johansson, noting it was "considering the implications of her new statement and what it means for Ms Johansson's role as an Oxfam global ambassador".

Johansson had served as a global ambassador for Oxfam since 2007, raising funds and promoting awareness about global poverty. In her role as an Oxfam ambassador, she travelled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty.

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