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January 24, 2014

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PAGE 8A 0 Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream) SodaSlream CEO Daniel Birnbaum announces Scarlett Johansson as the company's first-ever global brand ambassador on Jan. 10, 2014 in New York City. By Jana Banin Johansson's Super Bowl ad HOLLYWOOD, FL (JTA)-- Scarlett Johansson, faceless in the movie "Her," just landed a gig as the face of an Israeli company. Accord- ing to The New York Times, the Jewish actress has been chosen as SodaStream's "global spokesperson" and will star in its upcoming Super Bowl ad. In the commercial, airing during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVIII on Fox on Feb. 2, Johansson will show us how the home soda maker works. The point is to "dem- onstrate how easy it is, how sexy it is, to make your own soda," said Daniel Birnbaum, chief executive of SodaStream International. Who better to do that than the woman who was named Esquire's "Sexiest Woman Alive" for 20137 It also doesn't hurt that she's had some practice: Johansson has been a proud SodaStream user for a few years and has even gifted the machine to friends. "I love carbonated water but hate the waste of bottles," Jo- hansson said in a behind-the- scenes clip for the upcoming commercial. Sounds like it'll be far less controversial than the company's last Super Bowl ad, its first, showing a regular soda bottle explod- ing every time someone used SodaStream. Itwas seen as an assault on certain behemoth soda brands, and CBS ulti- mately refused to air it. Russell Simmons mixes up Sharon and Peres in condo- lence tweet Hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons was one of the many to publicly mourn former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who passed away on Saturday. He was probably one of the few, though, to mourn the wrong man. "R.I.P. my friend Ariel Sha- ron great pleasure working with you.., special occasions, your work to promote toler- ance was inspiring," read the tweet that went out to his 3 million followers. If only Simmons hadn't made the mistake of using so- cial mediawhile exercising--a widely known no-no! "On stair master.., a little light headed. Confused Ariel Sharon with longtime friend, Shimon Peres. Sadly Sharon promoted war, not peace," read the follow-up tweet. The first message was deleted. In case you're left wonder- ing just how much Simmons actually knows about the Middle East, he was sure to shoot out a small cluster of tweets on Sunday about his work with the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, which promotes Muslim-Jewish and black-Jewish relations. "Last year, I spoke at Shi- mon Peres' conference in Israel about our work at the @ FFEUny to bring Jews and Muslims together in peace," Simmons said, adding: "Dur- ing that trip to Israel, where I met with chief rabbi of Israel and grand mufti of Palestinian ppl,we launched 20 programs for @FFEUny." He made no mention of how during the trip he compared theAnti-Defamation League's national director, Abraham Foxman, to Louis Farrakhan. Unless he deleted that one before anyone noticed. Rolling Stones talking about first Tel Aviv gig More serious negotiations are going down in Israel--this time between Israeli produc- ers and the Rolling Stones. According to the Israeli news- paper Yedioth Acharonot, the band is in the process of hash- ing out a deal to add a Tel Aviv performance to its upcoming European summer tour. It would be the first Stones concert in the Holy Land. The $4.5 million being of- fered the Stones is the largest amount for an artist playing Israel. Representatives for the legendary rockers are set to arrive in Israel shortly to continue talks. Israeli fans bummed out by last year's false rumors of a Stones show are likely cross- ing their fingers and hoping for some satisfaction. Meryl Streep labels Walt Disney as anti-Semitic, sexist Walt Disney may be por- trayed as a mensch in "Saving Mr. Banks," but Meryl Streep wants everyone to know that isn't entirely accurate. Streep took the stage at the National Board of Review awards gala in New York to present an award to Emma Thompson for her role in the film about how the man behind the mouse, played by HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, JANUARY 24, 2014 Tom Hanks, convinced author P.L. Travers (Thompson) to sell him the movie rights to her book "Mary Poppins." First Streep praised Thompson, but according to Variety and other sources, she quickly launched into a little speech about Disney's anti-Semitic and sexist views. She pointed out that the mo- gul "supported anti-Semitic industry lobbying groups" and that he was a "gender bigot." "Women do not do any of the creative work in con- nection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that task is performed entirely by young men," Streep read, quoting a 1938 letter the company sent to an aspiring female animator. Rumors about Disney have been out there forever (you've got to be living under a bridge if you've never heard the one about him being cryogenically frozen), but naturally they've been discussed more since the popular film's release. What's true and what's made up? Vulture does a great job breaking it down right here. Lena Dunham lands Vogue cover "Girls" is hitting the news- stands (that's where you can find magazines printed on glossy paper, in case you were born after 1990). According to Page Six of the New York Post, Vogue is devoting its February issue to the buzzed-about show. Lena Dunham will grace the cover, and in the process likely generate a dizzying amount of online commentary about how nutso/awesome it is to see a woman who isn't size zero splayed out in fancy cloth- ing--somethingthat doesn't happen often Under Vogue editor Anna Wintour's watch. Clearly, Wintour truly approves of Dunham. She even posed alongside the "Girls" creator and star at the show's premiere Monday night, where Dunham looked simultaneously glamorous and totally real in a glittering Rochas gown. Anthony Weiner appearing on 'Alpha House' Everyone's favorite dis- graced former New York mayoral candidate is back on screen, and fortunately this time he'll be fully clothed. At least that's the hope. Anthony Weiner will play himself on the season finale of "Alpha House," Amazon's original political series about a bunch of senators room- ing together in Washington, D.C. The show was created by "Doonesbury" writer Garry Trudeau and stars John Good- man. According to The Wrap, the episode will feature cameos from other real-life Wash- ington players as well, such as GOP Chairman Michael Steele, CNN analyst Jeffrey Tobin and former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw. Also making an appearance: Bill Murray, returning to the role of Sen. Vernon Smits. Weiner no doubt is glad to be making positive, benign headlines again, unlike an- other sex scandal-scarred Jewish New York politician we know who this week was falsely accused of sucking his girlfriend's toes in a hot tub in front of a 10-year-old. For the latest Jewish celeb- rity news, visit JTA 's 6Degrees (no Bacon) biog. By Ron Kampeas WASHINGTON (JTA)-- More than half the United States Senate has signed on to a bill that would intensify sanctions against Iran. But in a sign of the so-far successful effort by the White House to keep the bill from reaching a veto-busting 67 supporters, only 16 Democrats are on board. The number of senators cosponsoring the bill, intro- duced by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D -N.J.), reached 58 this week, up from just 33 before the Christmas holiday break. Notably only one of the 25 who signed up in recent days--Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.)--is a Democrat, a sign of intense White House lobbying among Democrats to oppose the bill. Backers of the bill say it would strengthen the U.S. hand at the negotiations. But President Obama has said he would veto the bill because it could upend talks now under- way between the major powers and Iran aimed at keeping the Islamic Republic from obtain- ing a nuclear bomb. A similar bill passed this summer by the U.S. House of Representatives had a veto-proof majority. On Thursday, the White House said backers of the bill should be upfront about the fact that it puts the United States on the path to war. "If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military ac- tion, they should be up front with the American public and say so," Bernadette Mee- han, the National Security Council spokeswoman, said in a statement posted by The Huffington Post. "Otherwise, it's not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran's nuclear pro- gram to proceed." A number of pro-lsrael groups, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Commit- tee, are leading a full-court press for the bill's passage, with prominent Jewish leaders in a number of states mak- ing calls and writing letters to holdouts. Dovish Jewish groups such as J Street and Americans for Peace Now oppose the bill. The bill would expand sanc- tions in part by broadening existing definitions targeting energy and banking sectors to all "strategic sectors," in- cluding engineering, mining and construction. It would also tighten the definition of entities eligible for exceptions and broaden the definition of targeted individuals who as- sist Iran in evading sanctions. The National Jewish Dem- ocratic Council, in an effort to back a Democratic president while not expressly opposing intensified sanctions, issued a mixed verdict on the bill, saying it does not support its passage at present though the option of intensified sanc- tions should remain open down the road if the president seeks it. "We encourage Congress to support the president's foreign policy initiative by making stronger measures available should they be re- quired," the statement said. "Final action on the legisla- tion should be dependent upon Iran's full compliance with its obligations." Rabbi Jack Moline, the NJDC's executive director, accused AIPAC and the American Jewish Committee of "strong-arm tactics, es- sentially threatening people that if they don't vote a par- ticular way, that somehow that makes them anti-Israel or means the abandonment of the Jewish community." David Harris, the AJC's executive director, said he was "shocked" by Moline's allegations. "We support the Iran sanc- tions bill, as do a bipartisan majority of U.S. senators," he said. "Can a group differ with him on a critically im- portant issue like Iran, where potentially existential issues are at stake, without being maligned or misrepresented, or is that the price we're supposed to pay for honest disagreement?" A spokesman for AIPAC declined to comment. Mo- line subsequently apolo- gized to the AJC, telling JTA that his understanding now is that the pressure had been exerted in the organization's name--not by its employees. Despite its majority, the law faces significant Senate opposition. Ten committee chairmen in the Democratic- led Senate have pushed back against new legislation in a letter to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the Senate majority leader. One of the committee chairman, Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) of the banking com- mittee, has the parliamen- tary power to hold the bill. Among the other com- mittee chairs opposed to advancing the bill now are four Jewish senators: Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Intel- ligence Committee; Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chair- man of the Armed Services Committee; Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Environment Commit- tee; and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the chairman of the Energy Committee.