British MP George Galloway, who is known for his hatred towards Israel and his backing of the Hamas terrorist group, criticized actress Scarlett Johansson this week for her refusal to back down from an advertising campaign for SodaStream, an Israeli company with a factory in Ma’ale Adumim, a Jerusalem suburb located over the 1949 armistice lines.
SodaStream has been the target of boycott attempts by pro-Arab groups who take issue with the company being located in what they see as “occupied Palestinian territory”. Nevertheless, not only did Johansson not back down from the campaign, she stepped down as an ambassador for Oxfam due to the group’s support for a boycott of Israel.
In his show which airs on the Iranian state-run Press TV network, Galloway took issue with Johansson and said that her face should be "scarlet with embarrassment" for choosing SodaStream over Oxfam.
The video with the comments was posted to YouTube by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“The story, for those who don't know it, is Scarlett Johansson. She's a very famous Hollywood actress, I think of Swedish or Danish origin, who is a big star. She's taking money from a company called SodaStream to promote their product, which is a kind of spray which sprays soda water into drinks,” said Galloway.
“That would be one thing. You would think she had enough money not to have to cheapen her image and brand by having to do that, but she does,” he continued.
“But there are two real problems with it. The first is that SodaStream is actually produced on illegally-occupied Palestinian land in what they call the West Bank – on a settlement, an illegal settlement, kept on someone else's land in defiance of international law, by brute military force, by a brute military occupation,” charged Galloway.
“So I've got to say to Scarlett Johansson, whom I once admired – she's a very beautiful young woman and a good actress, who made some good movies, particularly Lost in Translation, with Bill Murray... I've got to say to her: You are an absolute disgrace. Your face should be scarlet now – scarlet with embarrassment that you chose a few shekels from SodaStream over Oxfam and over your international reputation.”
“Because your hands are certainly scarlet – they are scarlet with the blood of the Palestinian people, whose land has been stolen so that these illegal settlements can produce products like SodaStream,” he said.
Galloway was thrown out of the British caucus in 2003 after vocally opposing Britain’s involvement in the war in Iraq. He heads the British pro-Hamas Viva Palestina, which tried to bring in an aid convoy to Gaza but was stopped by Egyptian authorities.
In one incident, Galloway stormed out of a debate at Oxford University after learning that his opponent was Israeli.
In August last year he accused Israel of giving Al-Qaeda chemical weapons to use against civilians in Syria.
Later, when confronted by another British parliamentarian about his remarks which were made on the same Press TV show, Galloway blatantly lied and claimed, “I said no such thing.”
Galloway is not the only one who blasted Johansson for her pro-Israel stance. Earlier this week, musician Roger Waters criticized Johansson on his Facebook page for stepping down as an ambassador for Oxfam. He also blasted Canadian musician Neil Young for scheduling a show in Israel this coming July.