Actress Johansson has quit her global ambssador position at humanatarian organisation Oxfam.
The charity said her role was incompatible with her support for Sodastream, an Israeli firm which operates a factory in Ma’ale Adumim, an Israeli settlement built on occupied Palestinian land.
“Oxfam has accepted Scarlett Johansson’s decision to step down,” the group said in a statement. “Ms. Johansson’s role 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.”
Sodastream, whose product turns tapwater into soda, has found itself caught up in a growing international movement to boycott Israel in protest at its treatment of Palestinians.
The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is modeled after a campaign against white minority rule in South Africa and had urged Oxfam to disassociate itself from Johannsson, who has served as an ambassador for the humanitarian group since 2007.
The European Union has stated that settlements are “illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.”
But Sodastream claims its West Bank factory, which is built on one of the most controversial Israeli settlements, employs over 500 Palestinians and gives them equal benefits to Israeli workers.
The controversy has come at a delicate time for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli officials fear that if the talks fail, the economic boycott of Israel and its settlements might grow.