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The Palestinian Boycott That Kicked Off The SodaStream Controversy

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Uploaded on Oct 3, 2011

About a Boycott (2011): American actress Scarlett Johansson recently left her role as a spokeswoman for Oxfam due to the latter's support for a Palestinian boycott of Israeli company SodaStream - for which Johansson appeared in an ad during the Super Bowl. This film traces the roots and consequences of the Palestinian boycott of Israeli businesses.

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With peace talks going nowhere, Palestinians and their supporters are trying a new, non-violent, tactic to force Israel off their land. But will grassroots commercial boycotts really be the answer?

"It comes down to the dollar at the end of the day, it really does" says Cairo Arafat, a Palestinian resident of the West Bank. 'Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions', or BDS, attempts to target Israelis and foreign companies doing business with Israel. Palestinians supporting the BDS campaign say the only way to change the stalemate in the stalled peace process is to hit Israelis where it hurts - their pockets. They point to the dramatic effects of anti-apartheid boycotts on South Africa and say that boycotts can also work to change Israel's position. Despite being symbolic rather than economic, these boycotts are nevertheless dividing opinion: "I think it's from ignorance or hatred of Israel. It's not from love of the Palestinian people because I'm the one who loves the Palestinian people", says Daniel Birnbaum, an Israeli businessman whose company employs 450 Palestinian workers in the West Bank. To complicate matters, the Israeli parliament has now passed a law making it illegal to call for a boycott. "It's a stupid law. I would be proud to be prosecuted on this law", says Israeli actor, Rami Heuberger.

ABC Australia - Ref. 5302

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