A new mobile application, or app, is being launched by a group dedicated to the boycott of Israel under the tagline: “Be on the right side of history.”
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement will allow iPhone users to scan barcodes to establish whether a company has links to Israel, before deciding whether to buy its products.
The group has had a string of recent successes, with some European banks and investment funds shying away. It targets companies with links to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which the international community holds to be illegal.
BDS activists most recently targeted Soda Stream, an Israeli drinks manufacturer with a factory in the West Bank whose marketing campaigns are fronted by actress Scarlett Johansson.
She was criticised last month by international charity Oxfam over her links to the company, but in an interview this week, the Jewish A-lister said she had no regrets over her endorsement of the company.
“I stand behind that decision,” she said. “I was aware of that particular factory before I signed. And it still doesn’t seem like a problem, at least not until someone comes up with a solution to the closing of that factory and leaving all those people destitute.”
Yet while Johansson stuck to her guns, other high-profile names have been swayed by the BDS argument, with Prof. Stephen Hawkins last year pulling out of a Jerusalem conference after being won over by pro-Palestinian supporters.