Scarlett Johansson Stepping Down as Oxfam Ambassador

Movie star severs ties with aid group due to her involvement with Israeli firm SodaStream; Oxfam accepts her decision, calling her role with SodaStream 'incompatible' with her role at the aid organization.

Scarlett Johansson is ending her relationship with the humanitarian group Oxfam International after being criticized over her support for an Israeli company that operates in the West Bank.

Oxfam accepted her decision, noting that her role with SodaStream was "incompatible" with the beliefs of its organization.

A statement released by Johansson's spokesman Wednesday said the 29-year-old actress has "a fundamental difference of opinion" with Oxfam International because the humanitarian group opposes all trade from Israeli settlements, saying they are illegal and deny Palestinian rights.

"Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years," the statement said. "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 fund-raising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."

Earlier this month, "The Avengers" and "Her" actress signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International Ltd., and she's set to appear in an ad for the at-home soda maker during the Super Bowl on Sunday February 2.

SodaStream has come under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for maintaining a large factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

In response to the criticism, Johansson said last week she was a "supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine."

Oxfam said it accepted her decision, noting in its official response that "promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador ... Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law."

Johansson had served as a global ambassador for Oxfam since 2007, raising funds and promoting awareness about global poverty. In her role as an Oxfam ambassador, she traveled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the impact of traumatic disasters and chronic poverty.

Scarlett Johansson.Credit: AP

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