Taylor Force Act would hurt Israeli security, say military men

The bill to penalize Palestinian Authority payments to the families of terrorists could pose unexpected risks to Israel's safety.

June 23, 2017 01:05
1 minute read.
Taylor Force

Taylor Force, 29, was killed by a Palestinian terrorist who went on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa on March 8, 2016. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

WASHINGTON – A Senate bill that would cut off funding for the Palestinian Authority if it continued paying the families of convicted murderers and terrorists may ultimately compromise Israeli security, several of the nation’s top military minds warned on Thursday.

The legislation, titled the Taylor Force Act, has picked up support in recent weeks among Senate Republicans, after US President Donald Trump expressed his concern with the PA program to its president, Mahmoud Abbas. But Washington’s largest Israel advocacy organizations – which are often behind critical legislation related to Israel and the conflict – have declined to back the bill, only expressing support for legislation of some kind to address the policy.

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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has refrained from endorsing the bill because it lacks bipartisan support. The legislation, pioneered by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, has one Democratic co-sponsor in Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the PA policy immoral and an impediment to peace, while the PA says it has been in place for years, and mostly benefits the families of legitimate combatants.

The proposed legislation would deny the PA funding for “vital economic projects,” said the Commanders for Israel’s Security, a group representing hundreds of retired Israeli military officials, and thus “undermine PA stability; expand the circle of frustration and hostility; erode the security coordination.”

The act would therefore compromise Israeli security, reads the letter, which quotes former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.

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