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2014-01-31 digital edition

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January 31, 2014  RSS feed
Just a Nosh

Text: T T T

Just a nosh...

Complied from JTA news service

Oxfam accepts Johansson’s resignation, calls SodaStream role ‘incompatible’

Oxfam accepted actress Scarlett Johansson’s resignation as a global ambassador, calling the role “incompatible” with her work for the Israeli company SodaStream.

In a statement issued Jan. 30, the global anti-poverty charity said, “While Oxfam respects the independence of our ambassadors, Ms. Johansson’s role promoting the company SodaStream is incompatible with her role as an Oxfam Global Ambassador.”

Johansson announced Jan. 29 she was ending her relationship with Oxfam following criticism of her work as a spokeswoman for the producer of home soda-making machines, which operates a factory in the West Bank. and employs Israeli and Palestinian workers.

Johansson said she and the humanitarian organization have “a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”

Oxfam has said it opposes any trade with Israeli settlements. As a global ambassador for Oxfam, Johansson has traveled to India, Sri Lanka and Kenya to highlight the problem of global poverty.

SodaStream signed Johansson to be its first global brand ambassador, and she appeared in a television ad for the company during the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile for the second year, SodaStream’s Super Bowl commercial irked “Big Soda” and the company was forced to make a change before airing while gaining priceless publicity. This year, Johansson’s final line, “Sorry Coke and Pepsi” had to be deleted. However, the uncut YouTube version had garnered more than 8 million views even before the big game.

Report: Kerry framework includes shared Jerusalem, Jewish state recognition

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s pending framework for Israeli-Palestinian peace reportedly will include a shared capital in Jerusalem and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Kerry will unveil the proposal “soon,” New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman wrote Jan. 29.

The plan also would include land swaps based on the 1967 lines, security arrangements in the Jordan Valley and no “right of return” to Israel for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

The outline meets a key Netanyahu demand – recognition of Israel as a Jewish state – but it is not clear whether the sides would accept such a plan.

Netanyahu has rejected using the 1967 lines as the basis for a border with a Palestinian state and opposes relinquishing Israeli sovereignty within Jerusalem.

He also wants Israel to maintain a dominant security presence in the Jordan Valley for the foreseeable future. Regarding Kerry’s proposal for the Jordan Valley, Friedman describes only “unprecedented security arrangements.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state or negotiate away the rights of Palestinian refugees.

Israel sending 5 to Sochi Olympics

JERUSALEM - Israel will be sending five athletes to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, starting Feb. 7

Evgeni Krasnopolski, 25, a Ukraine native who grew up in Israel, will skate in the pairs competition with Andrea Davidovich, 16, of Vermont. The pair, who train in Hackensack, NJ, finished seventh in the senior pairs competition at the European Skating Championships earlier this month in Budapest, Hungary.

Alexei Bychenko, 25, also a Ukraine native who grew up in Israel, will represent Israel in men’s figure skating. Bychenko finished 10th in the men’s singles at the European championships earlier this month in Germany.

Vladislav Bykanov, 24, also born in Ukraine, will represent Israel in the short-track speed skating competition. He finished in the top 10 in the 500, 1,000 and 1,500 meters at the European championships.

Virgile Vandeput, 19, will compete in alpine skiing in the giant slalom and special slalom. Vandeput, a former member of Belgium’s national skiing team, has represented Israel in international competitions for the past four years. His mother is Israeli.

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