Scarlett Johansson
The actress faced a public backlash for endorsing Sodastream International. Reuters

Scarlett Johansson has said she believes that she has been a target for anti-Semitism for endorsing Israeli company SodaStream.

The American Jewish actress resigned from her position as ambassador for Oxfam in January, after the organization raised objections to her association with SodaStream, which operates in the West Bank.

The star was the focus of controversy after she signed on as the first global brand ambassador of SodaStream International Ltd, which came under fire from pro-Palestinian activists for its large factory in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim.

There's a lot of anti-Semitism out there.
- Scarlett Johansson

SodaStream employs Palestinian and Israeli workers at the plant, however Israel's settlements are deemed illegal under international law and are condemned by Oxfam, which has a large operation in the region.

At the time Johansson said she was stepping down from the role because of a "fundamental difference of opinion."

However, in a recent interview featured in the May issue of Vanity Fair, Johansson attributed the backlash she faced to inherent prejudices.

"There's a lot of anti-Semitism out there," she said.

Speaking to The Guardian in March, the Hollywood star defended her position saying: "I stand behind that decision. 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."

The actress questioned the charity's position on political boycotts of Israel and said she did not believe the case against the factory was clear.

"I think that's something that's very easily debatable … In that case, I was literally plunged into a conversation that's way grander and larger than this one particular issue. And there's no right side or wrong side leaning on this issue."

While Johansson faced a backlash, her decision to disconnect from Oxfam won her praise from Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who wrote in a Facebook post: "I would like to express my support for actress Scarlett Johansson, who took a brave stand against immoral hypocrites."

She also received support from the World Jewish Congress.