Scarlett Johansson, the actress, model, singer and political activist, has served as a Global Ambassador for Oxfam International since 2007. In her role as an Oxfam ambassador, she raised funds, promoted awareness about global poverty, and traveled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty.
Earlier this month, Johansson signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International Ltd., an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank.
When the inevitable anti-Israel backlash began, Johansson stood firm, saying she was a “supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine.” Good for her.
Oxfam, it turns out, has a strong policy on Israel: they oppose all trade from Israeli settlements, saying they are illegal and deny Palestinian rights. Oxfam declared that it was “considering the implications of her new statement and what it means for Ms. Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador.”
ScarJo responded that she has “respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years . . . 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.”
I used to think that Oxfam was a politically neutral charity, just like I used to think that Susan G. Komen for the Cure was. I was so naive.