Backfire: Hundreds of ‘Palestinians’ Lose Jobs After Activists Push to Boycott Israeli Company that Scarlett Johansson Promoted
Hundreds of Palestinian workers have lost their jobs following a boycott campaign against SodaStream, an Israeli company that manufactures home kitchen fizzy drink machines once promoted by Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson.
SodaStream was a prominent target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Campaign and CODEPINK, because it operated a factory in the West Bank, territory that Palestinians claim as theirs.
An Agence France-Presse photographer captured images Monday of the laid-off Palestinian workers sobbing as they said goodbye to their Israeli colleagues following a decision by the company to move its factory out of the West Bank.
“We’re heartened by all the support that everyone has shown us, but in the end, when I get up tomorrow, I won’t have a job to go to,” Yasin Abu Ateek, a 29-year-old father of two who worked for SodaStream for six years told the Jerusalem Post.
The Post, quoting the company, reported that the Palestinian employees each supported an average of 10 other people with their income.
“All the people who wanted to close [the factory] are mistaken. … They didn’t take into consideration the families,” Ali Jafar, a Palestinian shift manager, told The Guardian in September.
“SodaStream should have been encouraged in the West Bank if [the BDS movement] truly cared about the Palestinian people,” SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told the British paper then.
The company moved its operations a two-hour drive away from its original plant to southern Israel in October, citing financial reasons; however, BDS activists had hailed it as a victory of their campaign.
The company employed more than 500 Palestinians and boasted that all employees regardless of nationality and ethnicity received equal pay and benefits for comparable jobs.
When it relocated the factory to southern Israel, SodaStream
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