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Oxfam loses Scarlett Johansson over SodaStream ads and Jewish settlements

By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 8:32 AM EST, Thu January 30, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Johansson stars in an ad for soda machine maker SodaStream
  • Oxfam accuses SodaStream of manufacturing in Jewish settlements on the West Bank
  • The company says it manufactures on the West Bank
  • Johansson's Super Bowl ad for SodaStream hit a previous snag with Fox network

(CNN) -- Bubbly water and politics haven't mixed well for Hollywood actor Scarlett Johansson. After recovering from a kerfuffle over a Super Bowl ad she appears in, she suffered a painful blow over it Thursday.

Her starring role in the campaign for a machine that puts the fizz into water and soft drinks cost her her starring role as the public face of the charity Oxfam.

Although she officially resigned, the poverty-fighting organization says her representation of the company that makes the machines is a conflict of interests.

Oxfam and human rights activists accuse Israeli company SodaStream of manufacturing its product in Jewish settlements in the impoverished Palestinian territories.

See Scarlett's rejected Super Bowl ad

They view this as an exploitation of Palestinians and their resources.

"Oxfam believes that businesses, such as SodaStream, that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support," the poverty fighters said in a prepared statement.

"Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law."

On its website, the company says it manufactures on the West Bank, as well as in Israel, Germany, Sweden, the United States, Australia, South Africa and China. Calls to SodaStream's headquarters were not answered Thursday.

It touts its products as ecologically friendly, as they help consumers avoid buying plastic soda bottles.

Johansson has been nominated for at least three Golden Globes and currently stars as the voice of a computer app in the popular feature film "Her," according to her IMDb profile. She also has Jewish roots.

For eight years, Johansson publicly advanced Oxfam's work for survivors of calamities from Sri Lanka to the Philippines.

Oxfam thanked her for her service.

The previous snag Johansson hit with the ad came from television network Fox, but was quickly fixed.

Fox, which will broadcast the Super Bowl on Sunday, nixed Johansson's ad, which was slotted to run during the sporting mega-event. In it, Johansson dissed competitors Coke and Pepsi, which left Fox feeling uncomfortable.

SodaStream made sure the mention quickly hit the cutting room floor for the Super Bowl version, but it has retained the jab in its online version of the ad.

CNN's Aaron Smith contributed to this report.

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