A Palestinian women's group refused to attend in the Los Angeles Women's March over the weekend because of the participation of Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson.
The Palestinian American Women’s Association (PAWA) announced on Facebook last week it wouldn't participate in the Los Angeles march because of featured speaker Johansson's "unapologetic support of illegal settlements in the West Bank," the Jerusalem Post reports.
PAWA went on to describe Johansson's stance as "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."
"While her position may not be reflective of all organizers at the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation, PAWA cannot in good conscience partner itself with an organization that fails to genuinely and thoughtfully recognize when their speaker selection contradicts their message," the organization added.
When the Palestinian American Women’s Association (PAWA) was approached by the Women’s March Los Angeles Foundation to…
The Los Angeles event, held Saturday, was one of a number of rallies taking place across the country to draw attention to progressive causes. The first march was held last year on the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Johansson previously drew criticism for being a spokeswoman for SodaStream, a company that had its main plant in the West Bank. Palestinians hold that the Israeli properties in the West Bank are illegal.
The actress subsequently resigned in 2014 as a goodwill ambassador with Oxfam, an organization that supports a boycott of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, as a result her employment by SodaStream, the Guardian reported.
"Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years," a statement from Johansson said at the time. "She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. She is very proud of her accomplishments and fundraising efforts during her tenure with Oxfam."
As a result of the actress' "unapologetic support" for a "human rights violation," PAWA encouraged other groups to sign its petition and boycott the march. Pro-Palestinian groups that boycotted Saturday's march, according to the Post: Al-Awda: The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink, BDS-LA, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, and others who signed the petition.