How to fight BDS… and win



Earlier this week a Times of Israel Blogger shared that when Israeli Rabbi and student Yosele Ote asked for the academic  discount when purchasing  a soundtrack generating software package called “Cinematic Strings2” he received the following shocking response.

“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

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.”

Offensive and despicable but have no fear, the bloggers at Israellycool can smell the stench of anti-Jewish discrimination from a continent away (in this case Australia). Before you could say Anti-Semitic bigotry Brian at Israellycool was on the case. 

Says Brian: The following gem of a comment appears on their Facebook page from the company itself. I love the use of the “some of my best friends are Jews” defence. 

CinematicStrings: We’ll take our chances, thank you. Please understand that we do not have any ill feelings towards Israeli or Jewish people; I personally have several Jewish friends, and we have Jewish customers all over the world.

We simply stand with the vast majority of the world in opposing the Israeli government’s breaking of international laws. In the event that your country is subjected to decades of illegal occupation and settlement, and apartheid laws are enacted against you, we will be on your side. Until then, we’ll continue supporting a non-violent humanitarian effort to end Israel’s constant violation of international laws. For more information, please see this website that explains very clearly why a BDS is necessary:

Anne Lieberman - Photos of Cinematic Strings                                    Screenshot courtesy of Israellycool

Brian summoned his interweb minions who obligingly swamped Cinematic Strings with their questions and concerns. Cinematic Strings soon appeared to back down with this lukewarm corrective action.

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 reasonswe 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

Brian posited his…

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 delegitimizers.”

As the pressure and complaints continued to mount Cinematic Strings finally issued this statement.

Just an update. We realised that our own stance had been discriminatory, and that was not something we meant to do. We have given the discount to the artist concerned and in fact we have emailed him today and he is happy to work with us. We have agreed to provide the discount to every student regardless of their location, and after several discussions and further research, we have withdrawn our support of the BDS. We have done this because, while we still support open dialogue aimed at achieving peace and equality, we now consider the aims of the BDS movement to be extreme and counterproductive.

Thanks for your time.

Kind regards,


Brian concludes;

Today’s BDS Movement is rotten to the core. Its methods stink of vile Jew hatred and the goals of its leaders are rarely honestly expressed. This case was a good opportunity to underscore this. When exposed to the light, BDS against Israel (and only Israel) is an act of hatred against all Jews.

Mike Report readers will be pleased to know that Cinematic Strings gave Rabbi Ote (aka Yosele) a free copy of the software package he had tried to purchase. This episode demonstrates that efforts made by determined and educated supporters of justice can indeed make a difference. We urge our readers to check out the Israellycool series of blog posts that were published as events unfolded.

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