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BDS Fail: Scarlett Johansson Becomes New Face of Sodastream

Actress bucks the trend to boycott Israel by becoming the face of Sodastream's upcoming SuperBowl ad campaign.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 1/14/2014, 4:39 PM

Scarlett Johansson (file)
Scarlett Johansson (file)
Reuters

Move over, Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS): international celebrity Scarlett Johansson has started a new trend - support for Israeli companies. 

The actress will become the "global brand ambassador" for Israeli company Sodastream on February 2, Al-Jazeera America reported Monday, when she will star in the company's second-ever Superbowl commercial.  

SodaStream manufactures and distributes machines for home use to make carbonated drinks, eliminating the need to buy environmentally harmful plastic bottles. The company has become wildly successful, launching Israeli ingenuity into the public eye for its environmentally-friendly and frugal approach to the beloved beverage. 

Despite this - or, perhaps, because of this - the BDS movement has targeted the company for holding its headquarters in the eastern Jerusalem suburb city of Ma'ale Adumim, located over 1949 Armistice lines.

Johansson's partnership with the brand has drawn international criticism, with public figures like author Martha Schabas taking to twitter to denounce the star for an "alarmingly political move" to support "illegal West Bank settlements." 

But Johansson lets the criticism slide right by.

"I think it was a natural partnership," she explained, in a behind-the-scenes clip for the upcoming advertisement. "I've been using Sodastream for five or six years and it's a product I found on my own." 

"I like carbonated water but I hated the waste of bottles," she related. "My favorite thing about Sodastream is that I don't feel guilty when I enjoy beverages." 

Last year, Sodastream announced that it would be the first Israeli company to run an advertisement in the Superbowl. While the move was overall a success - bringing Sodastream to the attention of worldwide media - it also stepped up BDS efforts to dispel support for the company. 

In one successful attempt in November, BDS spurred radical left-wing activists to protest against the company in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

BDS has been less successful on the global scale, however, and the economic and ecological sense of SodaStream has charmed the public. Despite weekly pickets, EcoStream, an Israeli-owned shop in England which sells SodaStream recyclable bottles, reported a 38 per cent increase in trade in August.