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July 5, 2018 1:01 pm

Knesset Member Behind Israeli Taylor Force Act: Palestinians Will Learn ‘Terrorism Doesn’t Pay Off’

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Interview

Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern, Stuart Force, and Likud MK Avi Dichter. Photo: Courtesy.

Following the Knesset’s passage earlier this week of an Israeli version of the Taylor Force Act, Palestinians “will gradually understand that terrorism doesn’t pay off,” one of the bill’s co-sponsors told The Algemeiner on Thursday.

Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern — joined by Likud MK and Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avi Dichter — was the main driving force behind the legislation, which mandates the freezing of the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority (PA) equal to the amount of money the PA provides to imprisoned terrorists and the families of others who were killed while carrying out attacks.

“I certainly believe that the law will weaken the PA mechanism that encourages terrorism and incentivizes it economically,” Stern said.

“I also believe and very much hope that it will be a step forward towards reconciliation and peace,” he added.

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The bill was modeled on similar legislation — named after US military veteran Taylor Force, who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist while visiting Israel in March 2016 — that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump earlier this year, which dealt with American economic aid to the PA.

Force’s father, Stuart, traveled to Israel to attend Monday’s Knesset vote.

Recalling the legislative process, Stern noted, “The biggest obstacle I came across along the way were the attempts to alter the bill, even to the point of diluting its essence.”

Stern said it was often difficult to advance legislation as a member of the opposition, and he credited Dichter for “standing by the bill” from start to finish.

“Together we succeeded in preserving its essence and preventing it from being watered down,” Stern stated.

Stern dismissed the warnings of some of the law’s critics, who have said it could lead to the collapse of the PA.

“This is the reason the legislative process has been thorough and involved senior security officials with the relevant expertise and knowledge of how things are on the ground,” he said. “The matter has been seriously addressed and the conclusion is that such scenario is improbable.”

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