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Scarlett has no regrets over charity decision

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Outspoken: Actress Scarlett Johansson says she does not regret her support for the Israeli drinks company. Photo: Reuters

Outspoken: Actress Scarlett Johansson says she does not regret her support for the Israeli drinks company. Photo: Reuters

Outspoken: Actress Scarlett Johansson says she does not regret her support for the Israeli drinks company. Photo: Reuters

SCARLETT Johansson has said she has no regrets over her decision to promote a drinks company which has a factory in the West Bank, despite it spelling the end of her association with Oxfam.

Johansson, 29, stepped down from her role as an ambassador with the charity a month ago when it criticised her decision to sign an advertising contract with SodaStream, the drinks-machine maker.

The company's headquarters are in Israel and it has a factory in a settlement on the West Bank.

Oxfam opposes trade with Israeli settlements, saying they are illegal and deny Palestinian rights. Johansson has denied her SodaStream deal was a mistake. She said: "I was aware of that factory before I signed. And it still doesn't seem like a problem - at least not until someone comes up with a solution to the closing of that factory and leaving all those people destitute."

The actress said she felt the case against the factory was unclear, saying: "I think that's something that's very easily debatable.

Conversation

"In that case, I was literally plunged into a conversation that's way grander and larger than this one particular issue. And there's no right side or wrong side leaning on this issue."

Johansson said the argument by the UN, the Red Cross and the International Court of Justice that the SodaStream factory contravenes international law did not sway her, saying: "Sure, I think that's the way you can look at it. But I also think for a non-governmental organisation to be supporting something that's supporting a political cause ... something feels not right about that to me.

"There's plenty of evidence that Oxfam does support and has funded a BDS (boycott, divest, sanctions) movement. It's something that can't really be denied."

Oxfam denied this allegation.

Johansson added. "I'm coming into this as someone who sees that factory as a model for some sort of movement forward in a seemingly impossible situation."

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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