American victims of Palestinian terror attacks filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken Tuesday for the financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, stressing that these funds end up in "Pay for Slay" rewards given to terrorists and violate the Taylor Force Act.
The Palestinian Authority pays terrorists or the families of terrorists "salaries" if they carry out an attack or are arrested and imprisoned. These payments are commonly known as Pay for Slay.
What is the Taylor Force Act?
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Amarillo Division, points to the Taylor Force Act passed under the Trump administration which prohibits the Executive Branch from providing certain types of foreign assistance to the PA unless the PA takes "credible steps" to end acts of violence against Israeli and American citizens and ends Pay for Slay payments.
The US secretary of state is required by the law to periodically certify in writing to the appropriate congressional committees that such steps have been taken by the PA. Certain types of funds, such as payments to the east Jerusalem Hospital Network, assistance for wastewater projects and assistance for vaccination programs, are exempted from the ban.
US 'unlawfully laundering US taxpayer funds' to PA
The plaintiffs in the new lawsuit argue that the Biden administration has transferred "hundreds of millions of dollars from US taxpayers to the Palestinian Authority despite Pay to Slay and contrary to the Taylor Force Act" and is "unlawfully laundering US taxpayer funds through non-governmental organizations to directly benefit the Palestinian Authority."
The lawsuit pointed to the transfer by the Biden administration of $75,000,000 in economic support in 2021 to programs the plaintiffs say directly benefit the PA and do not fall within the Taylor Force Act's exemptions, as well of hundreds of millions of dollars provided by the US to programs benefiting the PA.
While the funds are being provided to non-governmental organizations, the plaintiffs argue that these organizations are affiliated with or controlled by the PA. The plaintiffs are demanding that the transfer of these funds to the PA be halted.
Who filed the lawsuit?
The plaintiffs include Stuart and Robbi Force, the parents of Taylor Force, a US Army veteran murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv, and Sari Singer, an American citizen who was injured in a bus bombing attack in Jerusalem in 2003.
The victims of Palestinian terror were joined in the lawsuit by US Rep. Ronny Jackson (TX-13). The lawsuit notes that Jackson intends to visit Israel soon adding that "because, as the Congress found, Pay to Slay incentivizes terrorism, he faces a greater risk of physical harm or death when traveling to or visiting Israel because of the defendants’ ultra vires (invalid) conduct."
The lawsuit was filed by America First Legal (AFL), an advocacy group founded by Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to former president Donald Trump. Miller describes the group as "the long-awaited answer to the ACLU" and the group's website says it works to challenge "the radical left."
"President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken are dishonoring the memory and legacy of a good man, and ignoring the citizens of the United States who understand that taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund the killing of innocent civilians."Stuart and Robbi Force, the parents of Taylor Force
The Forces stated in an AFL press release that "President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken are dishonoring the memory and legacy of a good man, and ignoring the citizens of the United States who understand that taxpayer dollars should not be used to fund the killing of innocent civilians. In October, six years after the attack, Robbi and I went to the boardwalk in Jaffa, Israel, to the spot where we lost Taylor. We shared our experience there with our daughter, telling her what we felt and sending a picture of the beautiful setting. She told us that Taylor is with friends, in a beautiful place, and happy. That is where the story should have ended."
Singer stressed that “as an American survivor of one of the largest bus bombing terrorist attacks in Jerusalem during the second intifada where over 100 of us were injured and 17 innocent people were murdered, including all those seated and standing around me, I believe that no matter where I am in the world, my country and president have an obligation to ensure the safety of all American citizens no matter where they are.
"The foreign aid, which is our tax dollars, being sent over to the PA is being used to perpetuate, encourage, and continue the cycle of violence and terrorism. The Pay for Slay program needs to be shut down and the Biden Administration needs to put the safety of Americans first."
Miller explained that "our lawsuit seeks to stop President Biden from violating the Taylor Force Act and illegally subsidizing terrorism against Americans who visit or live in Israel. The Taylor Force Act is named after Taylor Force, a West Point graduate and US Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist, and it prohibits the government from using US taxpayer dollars to directly benefit the corrupt Palestinian Authority.
"Nevertheless, since January 2021, the Biden Administration has used over a billion US taxpayer dollars for this illegal purpose. Thank you to Dr. Ronny Jackson, Taylor’s parents Stuart and Robbi Force, and Sarri Singer, a survivor of a Palestinian suicide attack against a Jerusalem bus, for your courage in fighting back against the lawless Biden Administration."