US/World News

SodaStream to close West Bank plant

(JNS.org) The beverage carbonation company SodaStream has decided to close its West Bank plant in Ma’ale Adumim. The plant’s location has made it a frequent target of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel – particularly leading up to the 2014 Super Bowl, when it ran a TV advertisement featuring Jewish-American actress Scarlett Johansson. SodaStream plans to relocate its plant to northern Israel by late 2015. Despite ongoing pressure from BDS activists, a spokeswoman for SodaStream told Bloomberg News that the decision to move the plant was “purely commercial” and part of the company’s “global growth plan.”

This year, the West Bank plant employed 500 Palestinians and 450 Israeli Arabs, along with 350 Israeli Jews. Johansson had drawn criticism from the U.K.-based charity Oxfam International for serving as a pitchwoman for SodaStream, leading her to quit her role as a global ambassador for Oxfam.

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