Taylor Force, 29, was killed by a Palestinian terrorist who went on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa on March 8, 2016.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Over the past several weeks, there has been an extensive debate both in America and in Israel regarding the Taylor Force Act.
This congressional legislation, introduced and co-authored by Sen. Roy Blunt and Sen. Lindsey Graham, states that so long as the Palestinian Authority continues to pay salaries to terrorists, US foreign assistance to the PA will be frozen. The bill comes in response to the perverse fact that Palestinian terrorists who murder Jews are paid millions of dollars each year by the Palestinian Authority.
Having served for four and a half years as Israel’s ambassador to the United States, I am very much aware that it’s unusual for Israeli officials to comment on pending US legislation. However, in light of the PA’s outrageous “pay-for-slay” law and the increase in Palestinian terror attacks, I believe it is necessary not only to comment on the Taylor Force Act, but to support it in every way by all means possible.
There are political, legal and moral implications for passing this bill.
The Taylor Force Act is bipartisan and covers an issue that unites members of both parties in Congress.
While its authors are both Republicans, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin signed on as an official co-sponsor.
Vocal support has also come from other Senate Democrats including Ben Cardin, Bob Menendez and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who recently said: “If [President Donald Trump] is unable to get Palestinians to cease these payments, Congress is going to act.”
The wide support across the aisle for this bill disproves all false accusations from the Left that it is partisan legislation. Others claim that the political outcome would be the collapse of the PA, which would leave Israel in charge of several million Palestinians and create chaos. This notion couldn’t be more wrong.
Much of the money provided to the PA as foreign assistance is being used for funding terrorism rather than nation-building and welfare systems. The legislation clearly states that the assistance would continue for the Palestinian security forces so that they could maintain cooperation with the Israeli security agencies to ensure stability for the PA and security for Israel.
It is illegal in the United States – a criminal act – to fund terrorist activities. Money given to the PA while it funds terrorist activities makes the US an accomplice.
The perception that US tax dollars are used for humanitarian aid is wrong, as the assistance is fungible and diverted to terrorism. This opens the potential for lawsuits against the US by victims and their families.
The Taylor Force Act is in accordance with US law and would ensure that taxpayer dollars are used appropriately and responsibly.
Supporting terrorism, even indirectly, undermines the moral authority of the US as the leader of the free world in its fight against terrorism. It weakens US demands on nations such as Iran, Qatar and Syria that they cease supporting terror. The PA’s “pay-for-slay” law, which has caused the murder of many American citizens, among them Ezra Schwartz, Naftali Fraenkel, Richard Lakin and Taylor Force, is the antithesis of the values of a nation that is built on democratic principles and a belief in the sanctity of life.
Just as the US wouldn’t aid a government that pays salaries to ISIS, al-Qaida or the Taliban, it shouldn’t aid a government that pays terrorists to kill innocent people. In his speech this week to the Christians United for Israel summit, Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer clearly stated the Israeli government’s support for the Taylor Force Act. The White House also stands behind it.
Now is the time for all Americans to unite and fight for the passage of this legislation. It is long overdue.
The writer is founder of The Truth About Israel, a non-profit organization defending Israel in the social media.