French court orders the Association France Palestine Solidarité to cease and desist its activities against SodaStream and take down its digital media equating SodaStream with fraud.
Shlomo Cesana, The Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff
Actress Scarlett Johansson, in a SodaStream ad
Israeli drink manufacturer SodaStream won a legal battle in France against an organization seeking to impose a boycott on its products. The court's verdict ruled that the "origin of the product," in this case an Israeli settlement, does not justify the call to boycott.
The group calling for the boycott, the Association France Palestine Solidarité, was told to cease and desist its activities against SodaStream and take down its digital media equating SodaStream with fraud.
SodaStream has come under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for maintaining a large factory in Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem. Maaleh Adumim is one of the main settlement blocs expected to remain part of Israel in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Last week, actress Scarlett Johansson responded to criticism over her new ad campaign for SodaStream, saying she is not pulling out of the endorsement deal.
Video credit: Reuters
In a statement released Friday to the Huffington Post, the 29-year-old actress said she "never intended on being the face of any social or political movement, distinction, separation or stance" as part of her affiliation with SodaStream.
"SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights," she told the Huffington Post. On Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) commended Johansson for her "principled opposition" to the anti-Israel BDS movement.
"SodaStream has long been a target of activists seeking to undermine the Jewish State through a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel," Abraham Foxman, the national director of the ADL, said. "These advocates oppose constructive dialogue regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and, at their core, reject Israel’s Jewish existence and the two-state solution.
"Johansson’s statement is an important rejection of this view. Unlike the BDS campaign, she has highlighted SodaStream as a positive example of how to move towards understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, one which will hopefully contribute to the conflict’s end and help facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state living at peace with a secure Israel."