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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 5, 2014 at 6:56 PM

SodaStream does some real good in the West Bank

Oxfam supports a boycott of SodaStream and would not allow its global ambassador, actress Scarlett Johansson, to do ads for the company [“Scarlett Johansson resigns from Oxfam over Israel flap,” Movies, Jan. 30].

SodaStream is the largest private employer of Palestinians in the West Bank. Palestinians, Druze and Jews work together in SodaStream’s West Bank factory and all workers receive health insurance and good pay. Unemployment is high among Palestinians in the West Bank, so workers say they appreciate their jobs, especially jobs that pay four or five times average pay in the area.

SodaStream is a company that helps the environment by eliminating the need for disposable bottles. With its factory in the West Bank, it also promotes peaceful relations between Jews and Palestinians.

Oxfam claims on its website that it “seek[s] to overcome poverty.” Why then would Oxfam support the boycott of a company that is doing so much to provide good jobs for a population in need? Is Oxfam a charity or a political organization? I think political considerations have caused Oxfam to lose sight of its mission.

Rochelle Kochin, Seattle

0 Comments | More in Israel | Topics: Israel, Oxfam, Palestinians

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