Written and submitted by David Adler.
Let me assume that everyone reading this is familiar with the remarkable and courageous story of Scarlett Johansson.
In brief, Scarlett was contracted by SodaStream for its advertisement for this year’s Super Bowl. Scarlett is one of the most popular high profile Hollywood Stars. She was also Ambassador for Oxfam.
So what’s the problem?
SodaStream is an Israeli company and has one of its 25 manufacturing plants in Judaea and Samaria (West Bank) where it employs over 900 Arab/Palestinians alongside its Jewish workers. All get Israel level salaries and benefits equally. By all reports SodaStream is a model of harmony.
OxFam has adopted a left-wing anti-Israel approach to its work and told Scarlett she could not do the advert and be their Ambassador. Much of Hollywood also adopts this sort of trendy left wing politics and pressure was applied. SodaStream had been targeted by the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment, sanction) campaign which OxFam supported.
But Scarlett Johansson, although not practising, is Jewish and saw the bridge building peace building work of SodaStream. She told OxFam where to put their Ambassador role.
However that is not the end. There are a whole range of downstream effects and today’s ‘Political UNCOMMON Sense’, published daily by me, presents one which is particularly inspiring.
SUDDENLY, Jews all over the world have started to stand up against the BDS. Scarlett’s principled stand has inspired other media figures to also speak out.
I’d like you to watch now this Sun News editorial by Britain’s Michael Coren. When you have watched this video clip (6 min) scroll down for the message:
That news editorial (which you should have already watched) is remarkable and inspiring not only for its punchy editorial structure and comment, but Michael Coren is another media figure who is a non-practising Jew. This is the first time he has gone public with his religion!
Here is Michael’s Wikipedia entry and you will find no mention that he is Jewish: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Coren
So the stand on principle by Scarlett Johansson, clearly a very high profile media figure, which will forever label her in the public eye as Jewish and a supporter of Israel, has inspired another media figure who has not previously announced himself as a Jew to stand up and stand out. In the media world such a stand is not without risk to future work flow. But one righteous act has inspired another and who knows how many and what flow on effects this will have?
Here we have a demonstration of how just one act could change the world!
This does indeed have the wow factor.
Some specific pragmatic actions:
- be VERY hesitant about supporting private even high profile NGO charities: Do NOT support OxFam, Amnesty International, New Israel Fund (NIF), UNRWA, UNICEF (although they also do good things elsewhere). There are much better ways to provide charity. BUT before considering a NGO, always check here: http://www.ngo-monitor.org/index.php
- Buy SodaStream! To get you started, here’s the Australian website: http://www.sodastream.com.au/auretail/default.aspx
- Always speak out to oppose BDS against Israel. Don’t be silent.