Jewish organizations on Tuesday welcomed the U.S. House of Representatives’ approval of the Taylor Force Act, which would eliminate funding that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it continues its abhorrent practice of paying stipends to terrorists or their families.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) applauded the move in a statement, saying, “For many years, AIPAC has pressed to end this PA practice that incentivizes terrorism and sets back the pursuit of peace. Lawmakers previously acted to reduce assistance to the PA by the total amount of payments it makes to terrorists and their families. However, that important step has not yet put an end to the payments, necessitating the increased pressure provided by the Taylor Force Act.”
“We appreciate the leadership of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Reps. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who helped ensure passage of this important, bipartisan legislation. We urge Congress to complete action on this measure and ensure that the PA is taking credible steps to end violence against Israelis and Americans,” AIPAC said.
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, also welcomed the move.
OU Executive Director for Public Policy Nathan Diament, who has been working with legislators for more than a year to build support for the bill, stated, “Today’s vote by the U.S. House of Representatives is a giant step toward ending the Palestinian Authority’s grotesque practice of ‘pay-for-slay.’ This system of encouraging and incentivizing terrorism has gone on for far too long, and the Taylor Force Act is a critical step toward ending this murderous scheme. We urge the Senate to approve the bill right away and send it to President Trump for his signature.”
OU President Mark (Moishe) Bane added, “We at the Orthodox Union express our heartfelt appreciation to all members of the House for passing this landmark bill that will help end the Palestinian government’s horrific misuse of U.S. funding. We particularly thank those legislators who pushed so hard to bring the Taylor Force Act to the fore: Doug Lamborn, Lee Zeldin, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel.”
Jack Rosen, President of the American Jewish Congress, welcomed the approval as well.
“No longer should U.S. tax dollars support a Palestinian Authority that uses the aid money to reward Palestinian terrorists and their families. The passing today of this landmark legislation in the House goes some way to doing justice to the memory of Taylor Force, the brave American soldier who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016,” he said.
A report released by Palestinian Media Watch several months ago found that the PA budget for jailed terrorists stands at 550 Million Shekels ($158 million) in 2017, a 13% increase from the previous 488 Million shekels ($135 million) that it handed out in 2016. In addition, payments to the families of terrorists have risen to 687 million shekels ($197 million), up 4% from its 2016 budget of 660 million shekels ($183 million).