Dear Mr. Offenheiser,
We are citizens of Israel who oppose Israel’s continuing policies of discrimination, displacement,occupation and apartheid towards the Palestinian people, via military force and political power. We respect Oxfam's work and moral consistency, especially on the issue of Palestinian human rights.
You are probably aware of the fact that one of your ambassadors, Scarlett Johannson, has signed a long-term contract to be the new face of Soda Stream, an illegal Israel settlement-based company. We appreciate Oxfam’s decisions to discontinue its past relationships with Kristin Davis in 2009 and with Paola Maugeri in 2012, under similar circumstances, while holding your ambassadors to the standards of ethical consistency.
We believe that this response would be in line with the Palestinian civil society's call for an end to Israel's criminal policies. This call is based on international laws and treaties, and it is supported by grassroots civil society groups all over the world. We would like to point out the UN Human Rights Council’s Framework of Respect, Protect and Remedy, which emphasizes not only a company's responsibility NOT to violate human rights (as Soda Stream is directly involved in), but also its responsibility not to allow human rights violations by its business partners and third parties along the business activity chain:
“The corporate responsibility to respect human rights means acting with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others, and addressing harms that do occur… A company’s responsibility to respect applies across its business activities and through its relationships with third parties connected with those activities—such as business partners, entities in its value chain, and other non-State actors and State agents. In addition, companies need to consider the country and local contexts for any particular challenges they may pose and how those might shape the human rights impacts of company activities and relationships.”
There are no state mechanisms for redress in Israel and the state knowingly and willfully sends its army to occupy Palestinian land. The Israeli government also secures its civilians in their corporate profiteering on that very territory. Therefore, it should be civil society’s responsibility to hold the relevant corporations accountable for violations of human rights and international law.
Your actions and public stance can inspire and empower others to take a stand for Palestinian human rights, here and around the world. Holding corporations and their representatives accountable has proved in the past few years to have a ripple effect. More and more corporations are taking action to respect Palestinian human rights. This is a process in which you have already taken an active part. We hope that once again, you will choose to take action against a company whose presence in the occupied Palestinian territories constitutes a war crime. We hope that you hold Scarlet Johansson accountable as a third party and entity in Soda Stream’s value chain.
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
Israeli Citizens Calling on Oxfam to Live Up to its Values
Dear Mr. Offenheiser,