Thinking of boycotting Israel? Think again!

Dear Dawg: Reviewing recent activity in the Texas legislature I found myself once again dismayed. Funny….I seem to feel that way every year about this time.  In this case, the proximate cause of my dismay is the passage of HB 89.  This bill requires that every contract my school district enters into must include a provision stating that the other party “does not boycott Israel; and will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract.”

Yikes! Is this going to show up in my teaching contract for next year?  If so, I guess I need to know what exactly “boycott” means.  The truth is that my husband and I were planning a vacation next year during the Christmas break.  My husband suggested that it would be a great time to travel to Israel, go to Bethlehem, see the Holy Land. We’ve never been, and we thought it would be a great educational experience for our kids.  But I nixed the idea.  I thought it was too expensive for us, and besides, traveling in that part of the world can be dangerous.  So I suggested that we go to Oklahoma instead, and my husband ultimately agreed to that.

I promise I was not wanting to “boycott” Israel!  I have nothing against Israel. But if I have to sign a contract that includes that language, is our private husband-wife conversation going to come back to haunt me.  Truth is, my husband and I are not getting along so well these days. What if we split up? Will he be able to use this against me, accusing me of being the one who boycotted Israel after signing a contract that said I wouldn’t?  Help!  DISMAYED INDEED.

DEAR DISMAYED: Not to worry.  First of all, we don’t think your decision about your vacation amounts to anything close to a “boycott.”  Second, this provision is not going to be in your teaching contract.  The bill requires this provision in any contract “with a company for goods or services.”  You are not a “company.”  School districts will need to include this provision in contracts they enter into for goods and services with “companies” but not with individual teachers.  Rest easy and enjoy your trip to Oklahoma.  As for the sense of dismay—we share that.  It’s a seasonal thing.  You will get over it soon. DAWG.


 File this one under: LEGISLATION 2017

Tomorrow: Have you seen the movie “Desert Hearts”?