Parents of Taylor Force, US Grad Student Murdered by Palestinian Terrorist During Israel Trip, Pay Tribute to Late Son at Algemeiner Gala
The parents of Taylor Force — the young American whose death in Israel at the hands of a knife-wielding Palestinian assailant in 2016 resulted in legislation targeting Palestinian Authority terror stipends that is now being considered by the US Congress — paid tribute to their son in an emotional speech to The Algemeiner’s annual gala in New York City on Monday night.
Flanked by his wife Robbi, Stuart Force began by recalling that, on March 8 last year, “our son Taylor was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Jaffa, Israel, while walking to dinner with classmates from Vanderbilt University.”
“They were MBA students visiting Israel to interact and exchange with Israeli companies,” Force said.
After the terrorist was shot and killed, his body was returned to his family by the Israeli authorities. “The celebrations began,” Force noted. “His family immediately qualified for a monthly stipend of up to $3,500 from the Palestinian Authority.”
Fighting back tears, Force added: “The celebrations heightened when they found out that Taylor was an American.”
Remembering his son, a former US Army officer, Mr. Force told the gathering of more than 600 guests that Taylor had been “an Eagle Scout and a West Point graduate.”
“Taylor led his platoon into combat on two deployments, one to Iraq and one to Afghanistan — and he brought them home safely,” Force said, to warm applause from the audience.
The couple praised Sander Gerber, the New York investor who played a key role in winning support for the Taylor Force Act — which will make US aid to the PA conditional on the cancellation of its policy of disbursing so-called “martyr payments” to convicted terrorists and their families — from a bipartisan group of US legislators.
Force said that Gerber had introduced the couple to their own senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham. “Next thing we knew, Robbi and I were in Washington, DC, standing next to Senator Graham and introducing the Taylor Force Act,” Force said.
“Robbi and I became the visual aids in the effort to end the US foreign aid to the PA that gets subverted to terrorists to pay for their acts, and for the murders of Israelis and Americans,” Force continued, warning that for terrorists, “anybody that visits Israel is fair game.”
“Together, we can ensure that our voices and Taylor’s voice will be heard in the fight for freedom and justice,” Force told the crowd.
After receiving approval from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in August with 17-4 margin, the Taylor Force Act is likely to be voted on during the current session of Congress, either through a stand-alone vote if time allows, or as part of a broader bill governing US foreign operations.
The PA currently spends more than $300 million of foreign aid money per year on monthly stipends to terrorists and their families — dubbed by critics as “pay to slay.” This far outstrips the wages paid to Palestinian professionals in value, including the PA’s own civil servants.
Watch Stuart and Robbi Force speak about their late son, Taylor, below: