Daily Israel Report

Canadian Minister Buys SodaStream Thanks to Oxfam

Employment Minister Jason Kenney follows through on promise to buy boycotted Israeli product after Oxfam flap with Scarlett Johansson.
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 2/4/2014, 9:00 AM

Scarlett Johansson (file)
Scarlett Johansson (file)
Reuters

Canadian Employment Minister Jason Kenney has followed through on his promise last week, made during a Sun News interview, to buy from the Israeli company SodaStream, whose product allows consumers to make their own carbonated soft drinks.

On Monday, Kenney posted a picture of the SodaStream unit in its box to his Facebook, accompanied with the words: "Bought a nice SodaStream Canada unit at Hudson's Bay Co. Thanks to Oxfam for the tip."

Kenney's reference to Oxfam had to do with the organization's pressuring of actress Scarlett Johansson after she appeared in an interview with SodaStream. In response, Johansson stepped down as a goodwill ambassador for Oxfam over their pro-boycott stance.

SodaStream has been targeted by the boycott movement for having a presence in Judea and Samaria; the company's headquarters are located in Maale Adumim to the east of Jerusalem.

The Facebook post received harsh criticism from pro-Arab activists, and praise from Israel supporters.

In announcing his intentions to buy from SodaStream, Kenney said on TV "I've given money to Oxfam in the past because I thought they were there to help poor people, not to marginalize Israelis and make Palestinians unemployed." He added that "all the nutters at Oxfam" also marginalize "Palestinian people" who get paid four times more at SodaStream than they would within Palestinian Authority-controlled areas.

Kenney went on to bash the "anti-Israel obsession" with which leftist groups attack Israel, even while they ignore countries like Iran which executes political dissidents and homosexuals.