Palestinian activists loathe actress Scarlett Johansson for her Super Bowl celebrity endorsement of SodaStream, a machine that makes homemade soda pop. The politically embattled company is based in Israel and has a plant on the West Bank.
On Tuesday, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Johansson in his remarks at a policy conference held by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC):
Today the singling out of the Jewish people has turned into the singling out of the Jewish state. So you see, attempts to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, the most threatened democracy on Earth, are simply the latest chapter in the long and dark history of anti- Semitism. (Applause.) Those who wear — those who wear the BDS label should be treated exactly as we treat any anti-Semite or bigot. They should be exposed and condemned. The boycotters should be boycotted.
Everyone should know what the letters B-D-S really stand for: bigotry, dishonesty and shame. And those who — those who oppose BDS, like Scarlett Johansson, they should be applauded.
Scarlett, I have one thing to say to you: Frankly, my dear, I DO give a damn! And I know all of you give a damn, as do decent people everywhere who reject hypocrisy and lies and cherish integrity and truth.
Earlier in the address, Netanyahu protested that Israel is a freer, fairer country than the Arab countries surrounding it, but only they are being boycotted:
But the BDS movement is not about legitimate criticism. It’s about making Israel illegitimate. It presents a distorted and twisted picture of Israel to the naive and to the ignorant. BDS is nothing but a farce. Here’s why, listen: In dozens of countries academics are imprisoned for their beliefs. So the universities of which country does BDS want to sanction and boycott? Israel — the one country in the Middle East where professors can say, write and teach what they want.
Throughout the Middle East, Christians are fleeing for their lives. So which country does BDS want churches to divest from? You got it — Israel, the one country in the Middle East that protects Christians and protects the right of worship for everyone.
Throughout the Middle East — throughout the Middle East, journalists are jailed, gays are hanged and women are denied their most basic rights. So which country does BDS want to sanction? Take a guess. Israel — the only country in the region with a free press, a progressive gays’ rights record and where women have presided over each of the three branches of government.
Now, when you hear this — and anybody can verify this — so you have to wonder, how could anyone fall for the BS in BDS?