Top US Political Leaders Herald Taylor Force Act’s Imminent Crackdown on Palestinian Terror Payments
Leading US politicians reiterated their support on Thursday for soon-to-be-approved legislation that will sanction the Palestinian Authority for incentivizing terrorism.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan both issued forthright messages of support for the Taylor Force Act. The act — which passed the House of Representatives by unanimous consent in December 2017 — is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate on Friday as part of an omnibus appropriations bill.
In 2017, the PA spent $355 million on payments to the families of terrorists who were either convicted by an Israeli court or died in the process of executing their attacks. Meanwhile, the US is the Palestinians’ largest international donor, having provided over $700 million in aid to the PA and the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA in 2016.
Describing himself as “a strong supporter of the Taylor Force Act,” Schumer said he was “pleased that Congress has included this bill in the omnibus spending bill.”
A source close to the final negotiations in the Senate over the legislation told The Algemeiner on Thursday that the veteran New York Democrat’s bipartisan effort last weekend with Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) had propelled the Act “over the finish line.”
“Passage of the Taylor Force Act will serve as a shot across the bow to [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas, as he must be held accountable for the Palestinian Authority’s record of incitement and subsidizing of terror,” Schumer said in a statement. “It is my hope that by enacting this bill we can put an end to the Palestinian Authority’s disturbing practice all while honoring the memory and sacrifice of Taylor Force.”
Force was a former American army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016.
In a statement paying tribute to the efforts of Doug Lamborn (R-CO), who introduced the Taylor Force Act in the House of Representatives in February 2017, Speaker Ryan said, “I look forward to joining Rep. Lamborn in making this important legislation the law of the land.”
Ryan said that Lamborn had “consistently advocated for the Force family since their son was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist and has helped elevate this issue to the international forefront.”
Meanwhile, Israeli lawmaker Elazar Stern of the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus congratulated his American colleagues on the legislation, describing it as an “important first step that it is hoped will put an end to Palestinian incitement, violence and payments to terrorists.”
“We have a similar law that passed its first reading in the Knesset and we are delighted to be working in parallel on such an important security issue that will save lives and contribute towards peace,” Stern, a member of the centrist Yesh Atid Party, said.
Lamborn said that he had “introduced the Taylor Force Act in the U.S. House because U.S. tax dollars should never support regimes that incentivize the murder of innocent people.”
“President [Donald] Trump supports the Taylor Force Act, and I am glad we will be sending it to his desk for his signature today,” Lamborn said. “This is an important first step in holding the PA accountable for this abuse of foreign aid and American taxpayer dollars.”