Scarlett Johansson Sodastream Ad Becomes Online Meme for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

    January 27, 2014

Scarlett Johansson’s collaboration with Sodastream has drawn sharp criticism from those with strong opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and now it’s spawning political memes across the Internet.

Sodastream recently announced that Johansson would be their first-ever global brand ambassador.

Johansson said she has been a fan of the environmentally-conscious company’s make-it-yourself soda product for several years:

“I think it was really a natural partnership because I’ve been using Sodastream for probably five or six years and it’s a product I found on my own just because I like carbonated water but I hated the waste of bottles … It’s a product that I stand by, that I use, that I believe in.” She calls her spokesperson deal with Sodastream a “fateful relationship.”

But the relationship comes with a hefty dose of controversy, especially as Sodastream plans a Super Bowl commercial spot featuring Johansson.

Sodastream is headquartered in an Airport City, Israel office park that sits at the junction of Haifa, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv. The controversy stems from the fact that the company’s main manufacturing facility is located in an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Oxfam International, for whom Johansson has been an ambassador since 2005, has expressed concern over her relationship with Sodastream, pointing out that under international law, trade from settlements such as the one in West Bank is illegal: “…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.”

Over the weekend, political memes began to circulate on Twitter:

Johansson made an effort to “clear the air” by releasing a statement to the Huffington Post: “I stand behind the SodaStream product and am proud of the work that I have accomplished at Oxfam as an Ambassador for over 8 years. Even though it is a side effect of representing SodaStream, I am happy that light is being shed on this issue in hopes that a greater number of voices will contribute to the conversation of a peaceful two state solution in the near future.”

Image via YouTube