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Palestinian American group shuns L.A. Women's March over Scarlett Johansson's ties to Israeli company

Palestinian American group shuns L.A. Women's March over Scarlett Johansson's ties to Israeli company
Scarlett Johansson's role as spokeswoman for an Israeli company that had a factory in the West Bank prompted a Palestinian American group to withdraw from Saturday's Women's March L.A., at which Johansson was scheduled to speak. (Yoshio Sato / Associated Press)

Actress Scarlett Johansson, who is expected to be one of the featured speakers at Saturday's Women's March L.A., is the subject of a separate demonstration.

The Palestinian American Women's Assn. (PAWA) announced on its Facebook page that it was withdrawing from the march in downtown L.A. because of Johannson's participation.

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The group is critical of Johannson's role as a former spokeswoman for SodaStream International, a company that produces seltzer-making machines in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The company was the target of a boycott movement of products made on land seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War and claimed by Palestinians for a future independent state.

The boycott resulted in Johannson's decision to resign as a humanitarian ambassador for the charity organization Oxfam International. Oxfam opposes all trade with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, saying companies that operate there do so illegally.

SodaStream eventually shut down its West Bank plant in the face of international pressure,

"The Women's March mission says we believe that women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights," Sana Ibrahim, past president of PAWA, said in a statement. "Apparently that does not extend to Palestinian human rights, during the WMLA."

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