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February 28, 2017 3:07 pm

Top US Senator Reintroduces Bill to Cut Off American Funding of Palestinian Authority Over ‘Barbaric’ Practice of Monetarily Rewarding Terrorists and Their Families

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Tuesday's Capitol Hill press conference at which Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced the reintroduction of the Taylor Force Act. Photo: Barney Breen-Portnoy.

Tuesday’s Capitol Hill press conference at which Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced the reintroduction of the Taylor Force Act. Photo: Barney Breen-Portnoy.

A prominent US senator reintroduced legislation on Tuesday that would cut off American funding of the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pay monetary rewards to terrorists and their families.

“Not only are Israelis victims of this barbaric practice; American citizens like Taylor Force are victims of this practice,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said at a Capitol Hill press conference on Tuesday, referring to the 28-year-old West Point graduate who was murdered in a stabbing attack carried out by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv last March and for whom the bill was named. “We’re going to change this. We’re going to get the Palestinian Authority’s attention by withholding their money.”

Graham was joined at Tuesday’s event by Republican Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, as well as Republican Congressmen Doug Lamborn of Colorado — who is behind the House companion bill to the legislation — and Lee Zeldin of New York. Taylor Force’s parents also traveled to Washington from South Carolina to be in attendance.

“What the Taylor Force act will do is give the Palestinian Authority a clear choice — to either stop doing what you’re doing or you won’t have our money, at least, to do it with,” Blunt said.

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“Taxpayer dollars are no longer going to subsidize the murder of American citizens, or Israeli citizens,” Cotton stated. “We’re going to do everything in our power to make this bill into a law.”

Stuart Force — Taylor’s father — said, “This is not a partisan issue. It’s the right thing to do. And I urge you, in all the different states, all the different senators and congressmen, please show your support for the Taylor Force Act.”

Force went on to say that he hoped his next visit to the nation’s capital would be for the White House signing ceremony when the bill becomes a law.

Graham noted he was “confident” that President Donald Trump would approve the bill if it is passed by Congress.

Asked to address concerns about the implications of the bill for the stability of the Palestinian Authority, Graham said, “Security is never going to be achieved by paying young people to kill Taylor Force. If you want a secure Palestine, how do you get it by killing this man?”

Graham said he had briefed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) about the bill. “They support it in concept; they want some changes,” he stated. “We’re open for business, but we’re closed-minded to doing nothing.”

Furthermore, Graham said, the Taylor Force Act is “our way of pushing back” against rising antisemitism.

“I want people to understand who America is when it comes to the one and only Jewish state,” Graham declared.

In an interview with The Algemeiner in September — just before the legislation was introduced for the first time (it had to be reintroduced now, since a new Congress took power in January following the November elections) — Graham said, “There has to come a point of awakening here within Palestinian society. I want the Palestinians to make a decision as to what kind of people they are going to be. I know they’ve got problems, I’ve met [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas many times. I know Hamas is an out and out terrorist organization and the PA has a fairly good working relationship with the Israelis when it comes to security, but we’ve got to cross this bridge…American dollars are going to a government that literally rewards people for killing their neighbors. And until we get that addressed, I don’t think the peace process will ever move forward.”

Stuart Force told The Algemeiner in September, “The bottom line is that the situation is degenerating over there and it’s time to address the issue.”

Watch Tuesday’s press conference below:

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