Occasionally you win one but the trends are still bad

This is from Andrew Bolt, under the heading, No discount for the Jew from Israel:

It is increasingly hard to tell the difference between the Greens-backed Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement and old-fashioned anti-Semitism.

Australian company Cinematic Strings advertises a product:

Cinematic Strings 2 is a completely redesigned and updated version of the original orchestral strings sample library. Whilst retaining the warm luscious tones produced in the world class Verbrugghen Hall of the Sydney Conservatorium, the new version features a sleek new interface and even smoother legato.

It offers a discount to students:

Supporting Students and Institutions Worldwide

We believe that the latest technology should be readily available to the education sector to facilitate learning and to keep training up-to-date and relevant to industry requirements. For this reason we offer a range of individual educational discounts to both teachers and students; we also have tailored packages available for universities and colleges that seek to incorporate a professional-level string library into their program.

And then it sends this reply to a Jewish student placing an order:

Hi Yossela,

I am very, very sorry but I will not be able to provide you with a student discount. We support the BDS movement worldwide and the cultural boycott against Israel until Israel ceases its illegal settlement activities in the West Bank and ceases its discrimination against the Palestinian people. Please see this website for further information http://www.bdsmovement.net/activecamps/cultural-boycott.

Please understand that this is not in any way directed at you personally and we have heard from many Israeli students who have been very sympathetic towards the Palestinian people. However we are fairly powerless here in Australia to act on behalf of the victims of oppression and so the BDS is the only way we can have a voice.

We wish you all the best in your future musical endeavours.

Kindest regards,

Alex and the CS team.

For the company to say this decision “is not in any way directed at you personally” is to actually explain one of the offensive things about it. Yossela is not being judged as an individual but as an Israeli, and specifically a Jewish Israeli. (Would the ban apply to him were he an Israeli Arab?) This is the tribalism of the Left – a tribalism that strips us all of our individuality and our individual worth.

Moreover, when that tribalism is then put into the service of a movement aimed at only one side in a conflict involving at least two parties, the other of which uses terrorism and preaches a religious hatred of its enemy, we must ask what truly lies behind this BDS movement. It smells like something very old and putrid.

But good news: it didn’t take long after this issue hit the Internet for Cinematic Strings to think again:

While we stand by our reasons, we can see now that this action itself may be construed as discriminatory, and therefore we will make discounts available to all students regardless of location. If Yossela would like to contact us again we will make the discount available to him


And here is the full story of why they thought again:

For any who think we can’t fight BDS: here’s a result. Within hours of the original blog post kicking off a Facebook viral avalanche from our readers, the company behind Cinematic Strings has, at least technically, backed down.

As I was writing a follow up post, the owners of Cinematic Strings posted the following in various places on Facebook and in emails (my emphasis). They appear to have backed down on refusing a discount to an Israeli.

We have seen it reported in the past few hours that we do not sell our product in Israel or to Jewish people and it is simply not true. We have always allowed anyone anywhere in the world to purchase CS2; we have sold many copies to Jewish composers both within and outside Israel.

However we have historically allotted discounts case by case, at our discretion. We did withhold a discount in support of an academic and cultural boycott; we did this in order to promote dialogue aimed at ending state-sanctioned discrimination against the Palestinian people. While we stand by our reasons, we can see now that this action itself may be construed as discriminatory, and therefore we will make discounts available to all students regardless of location. If Yossela would like to contact us again we will make the discount available to him.

Thank you to those who have contacted us personally and with whom we have had polite and constructive discussions. I hope this outcome will be satisfactory to all concerned.

Kind regards,

Alex Wallbank

Answering the first paragraph: we certainly never claimed they wouldn’t sell to Jews or Israelis: only that they wouldn’t give a discount that was available to any other nationality.

After posting earlier about the company in Australia that makes the software “Cinematic Strings 2” and who wouldn’t give an educational discount to an Israel, I fired off an email to a friend of mine. He just happens to be a top Hollywood music producer. I specifically asked him for alternatives. This is the answer I received (reproduced with permission):

I am horrified.

I am about to start a new movie and have been sourcing new library.

Cinematic Brass was on my shopping list. It is now OFF.

I will do everything in my power to alert other composers to this abomination. Divestment cuts both ways and Hollywood is a place where many well known Jewish composers reside.

Your email and its unlikely subject matter arrive on the cusp of my purchase decision, and was beshert.

As far as strings are concerned, I have invested in the product of a German company – Orchestral Tools – who make a brilliant library named Berlin Strings. They also have a woodwind library called, not too surprisingly, Berlin Winds. Now, I have no way of knowing whether OT are involved in BDS or not, but would suggest applying the same approach as was used with the Ozzie mumsers.

If anything of a similar nature occurs, let me know.

With fond regards,

So there you have it. One sharp email back to an Israeli asking for a perfectly reasonable student discount which would be offered to any other nationality in the world and repercussions can start.

I just want to say this to the owners of Cinematic Strings. This is not personal, it’s business. I have a theory, expanded here, that boycotting Israel (in this case unfairly refusing an academic discount purely on national origin) will harm the boycotter more than Israel. In his speech the other night Netanyahu very clearly laid out why boycotting Israel and Israelis is so evil:

“In the past, anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state. And by the way, only the Jewish state. Now, don’t take my word for it. The founders of the BDS movement make their goals perfectly clear. They want to see the end of the Jewish state. They’re quite explicit about it. And I think it’s important that the boycotters must be exposed for what they are. They’re classical anti-Semites in modern garb. And I think we have to fight them. It’s time to delegitimize the delegitimises.”

I’m very pleased Cinematic Strings have understood how their actions looked discriminatory but concerned about “we stand by our reasons”. I still feel slightly sorry for “Alex and the CS team”. They’ve been deceived into hating Israel by many years of brilliantly executed propaganda financed by an enormous amount of money. You’ve bought into lies that say we oppress people for fun, steal their land and build big walls to ensnare them. I’m sorry about those lies and that so many believe them, and I’m sorry the far less exciting truth hasn’t been explained properly.

As a business owner myself, I’d be upset if my Arab customers chose to boycott me. Fortunately the Arabs (including many in the disputed territories) have no trouble trading with my Israeli company to our mutual benefit.

Perhaps, through this process of us highlighting their BDS against Israelis (and only Israelis) they’ll come to see that we’re not evil, we don’t kill or steal for sport and we dearly would like to lay down our arms and tear down our walls. We’d do all that in an instant providing we can remain a Jewish nation and sanctuary for Jewish people while accepting any willing to live peacefully alongside us. Just like the Israeli Arabs I ate my lunch with today. We’d love to pull out our troops (they’re our children!) as soon as we know we won’t be blown up on buses and in pizza parlours. But right now, they’re trying to do this almost every day and they’re trying to fire rockets almost every day.

So the walls and the security devices stay in place and, at least on our side, we still yearn for a realistic peace and security.

And I’d like to see BDS against Israelis become just as unacceptable in polite society as antisemitism, which really should be called Jew hatred, used to be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.