You may recall four years ago when the actor Scarlett Johansson ended her relationship with Oxfam after the charity took exception to her involvement with the Israeli company SodaStream, which at the time operated a factory on the West Bank– including a commercial during the American Super Bowl.
Even though SodaStream has since closed that plant and relocated inside the Green Line to the Negev, certain “pro-Palestinian” groups are still angry with her. They boycotted the anti-Trump Women’s March in Los Angeles (one of hundreds) marking the first anniversary of the Trump presidency.
The Palestinian American Women’s Association cited in a post on Facebook Johansson’s “unapologetic support of illegal settlements in the West Bank, a human rights violation recognized by the international community whose calls only led to a reaffirmation of her position, sending a clear message that Palestinian voices and human rights for Palestinians do not matter.”
Other pro-Palestinian groups that boycotted the march included: Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, BDS-LA, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return and other organizations who have signed the petition… in boycott of the January 20 march in Los Angeles.
Johansson spoke at the event anyway. As you can see, the boycott apparently did not have much effect.
I doubt 95 percent of the marchers even knew about it, and those who did know about it didn’t consider it enough reason to stay away.
The anti-Zionist Linda Sarsour, one of the Women’s March national coordinators, probably was not happy about this. But it seems the movement itself is much bigger than her.
In reaction to Sarsour’s claim that Zionism and feminism are incompatible, a movement of liberal feminist Zionists has emerged to challenge it.
“I believe this was… the catalyzing events that led to the forming of Zioness Movement,” the group’s Washington DC branch leader Ann Lewis told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday.
The Zioness Movement, organized in 2017, describes itself as a female Zionist organization devoted to social justice and progressive causes.
“Soon after the first Women’s March in 2017, which was an impressive, empowering experience, I became aware that Linda Sarsour was using her new visibility as one of the March co-chairs to issue some ugly, divisive statements,’ Lewis said.
“Sarsour has the right to express her opinion, although it is misleading that she does so while citing her Women’s March title. It is wrong and dangerous to imply that she speaks for the millions of women and men who came out for the Women’s March,” she added.
Lewis said the Zioness Movement, much like the wider Women’s March, also aims to help shepherd a growing cultural shift in America that is denouncing perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse while being dedicated to the “principles of Zionism and feminism.”
As they did last year, the marches drew big crowds– not only in liberal urban enclaves, but just down the road from here in Roanoke, Virginia, at the edge of the Appalachians (my sister was in there somewhere).
And no, I’m not a fan of the pink hats.
Best of all, the focus was not just on “resistance” but on electoral politics, especially the Congressional and state elections in November. This sign probably summed it up best: