Ed Royce: Palestinians Must End ‘Pay-to-Slay’ Policy
By all accounts, Taylor Force was an all-American kid. He loved skiing, guitar and horses. He was an Eagle Scout and a West Point graduate who served honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan before enrolling in Vanderbilt’s MBA program.
Taylor was a young man with big dreams and loads of potential. That’s what brought him to Israel last year — to learn firsthand about Israel’s thriving culture of innovation and entrepreneurship — where he was tragically murdered in Jaffa by a Palestinian terrorist.
Sadly, Taylor’s story is all too common in Israel today. Hundreds of terrorist attacks have been carried out by Palestinians in just the last two years. But instead of condemning these horrors, the Palestinian Authority encourages them.
It is Palestinian law to reward Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails with a monthly paycheck. Outrageously, the more violent the terrorist attack, the more the PA pays, with stipends ranging from $364 to $3,100 per month.
And the PA’s benefits for terrorists don’t stop there. It also, for example, guarantees jobs for terrorists imprisoned for more than five years. Additionally, the families of terrorists who die while carrying out an attack also receive monthly PA payments.
This perverse system is part of a larger problem that Israel faces — a deep-seated hatred nurtured by Palestinian leaders over many years in mosques, schools, newspapers and on TV. As one witness testified at a hearing I held, “‘Incitement’ is the term we usually use, but hatred is what we mean … teaching generations of Palestinians to hate Jews by demonizing and dehumanizing them.”
Over the last 25 years, the US has provided economic and security assistance to the Palestinians to meet the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people and encourage responsible governance by the PA. These are important goals. But in the face of these continued attacks, we cannot continue with the status quo.
That’s why on Tuesday, the House voted on legislation — approved unanimously by Republican and Democratic members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee — named in Taylor Force’s memory. This critical legislation will restrict US aid to the Palestinians unless they stop subsidizing terrorists. It will use our leverage and influence to present Palestinian leaders with a choice: US assistance or morally reprehensible payments to terrorists.
The PA cannot be a true partner for peace until it stops rewarding and glorifying violence. Palestinian leadership must be more interested in helping the Palestinian people than in perpetuating anti-Israel hatred. The PA must finally end pay-to-slay.
Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
This article was originally published by The Washington Examiner.