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  • How does SodaStream treat its Palestinian workers when the media isn't looking?

    According to Palestinian workers at the West Bank factory, they were provided with meager and unsuitable food at the end of a day of fasting; those who complained were fired immediately. SodaStream: 'The termination process was done legally' By Niv Hachlili / Ha-Makom Wednesday, July 2, was especially tense. The funerals for the three murdered Israeli teenagers, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach had taken place the day before. Gangs of rioters were already roaming the streets of Jerusalem, and Ramadan was entering its third day. It was 8 p.m. and the night shift workers at the SodaStream factory in Mishor…

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  • Scarlett Johansson isn't naive: She prefers profits to human rights

    By stating that the illegality of settlements is 'very easily debatable' and that there is no 'right or wrong side,' the actress has proven she is not naive at all - but is rather choosing money over humanitarian concerns. By default, she is enabling the occupation. In her first explicit response since the Sodastream-Oxfam controversy, actress Scarlett Johansson told The Guardian Sunday that she stands by her decision to sign as brand ambassador with the Israeli company that has a factory in a West Bank settlement, stating, "I was aware of that particular factory before I signed it." Reiterating her original defense…

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  • Israel crosses the tipping point, becomes an economic liability

    Over the past three months Israel has seen a surge in European firms adjusting their business ties with the Jewish State. The knee-jerk response of its politicians is telling: the point of no return has been reached. There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel is gaining traction. It’s pretty much a fact no one can dispute - those three letters are seen more and more in just about every news item about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But there has also been some speculation about a certain “tipping point” concerning the campaign,…

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  • The cynical use of Palestinian workers in the SodaStream controversy

    As a rule, Palestinians working for Israelis in the West Bank hate the settlements and the occupation. But they have to feed their families, so they swallow their pride. Supporters of the occupation have found a new set of spokesmen: the Palestinian workers at the West Bank factory owned by the Israeli company SodaStream, of BDS and Scarlett Johansson fame. Reporters from The Christian Science Monitor, The Telegraph and other media outlets talked to some of the 500 Palestinians employed at the Mishor Adumim plant, and quoted them saying they were against the boycott. It was threatening their livelihood. They…

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  • Scarlett Johansson is new poster girl for 'pro-Israel' advocacy

    Scarlett Johansson is apparently the new poster girl for Israel - or more accurately, for those who blindly cheer for it and have no criticism of the myriad human rights violations that come with its occupation. The over-exuberantly American "pro-Israel" advocacy group, The Israel Project, has appropriated the actress in its effort to advocate for Israel and combat any kind of boycott, BDS or not. As everyone must know by now, Johansson is no longer the global ambassador of Oxfam, choosing instead to stick with her new contract as the face of SodaStream, an Israeli company with a factory in…

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  • 5 things I learned from the Scarlett Johansson/SodaStream affair

    The Scarlett Johansson/Sodastream affair appears to be over. The American movie star left relief group Oxfam citing differences of opinion over boycott and will continue to represent Israeli company Sodastream, which has a factory in a West Bank settlement. The Israeli media declared victory with the weekend papers cheering Johansson’s decision to quit Oxfam. “Scarlett for Israel” was the headline in Yedioth Ahronoth, whose Friday edition is the most widely read paper in Israel. The editors placed the story on page 1, above the fold. International coverage of the affair, however, told a slightly different story, repeatedly referring to the settlements…

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  • Scarlett Johansson's naive SodaStream defense

    American actress Scarlett Johansson has become the center of controversy following the announcement that she is the new face of SodaStream, an Israeli company with a large factory in the West Bank. SodaStream produces domestic carbonation machines for making sodas at home, and has a large factory in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, located inside Ma'ale Adumim, the third largest settlement in the occupied West Bank. (This fact is conspicuously absent from its Wikipedia page). The company has both Palestinian and Israeli employees working in its West Bank factory, branding itself as an environmentally friendly, ethical alternative for soda lovers…

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  • A matter of choice: Why optimism is integral to anti-occupation activism

    Often times pessimism is caused by choosing to remain a spectator, and pretending to remain powerless instead of taking responsibility and deciding to act according to what one believes. But what does this mean, and how do you do it? By Tom Pessah In a recent +972 post, Noam Sheizaf wrote that “there is something extremely grotesque – for lack of a better word – in hearing Israelis (or Zionists) explaining that the effort to end the occupation is simply not working, or beginning to seem pointless. Israelis are in power. They can end the occupation with a simple decision.…

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  • The big league: Israeli company based in West Bank to have ad in Super Bowl

    The New York Times reports today that the Israeli company SodaStream is going to have a commercial spot on the biggest night in American TV: Super Bowl Sunday. Israeli website Ynet reports that this is the first time an Israeli company has reached the big league of advertising. But what the Times and Ynet conveniently didn't mention is that this will also be the first time a company that produces its products in the territories (Mishor Adumim industrial area in West Bank) will be showcased on Super Sunday. Good for you, settlers!

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