Feb 28 2017
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Congressmen Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) and Lee Zeldin (R-New York) reintroduced The Taylor Force Act, which would cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority if they continue their policy of paying monetary rewards to terrorists and their surviving family members.
Taylor Force was a former U.S. Army officer who was part of a Vanderbilt University tour group visiting Israel when he was brutally stabbed and killed by a Palestinian terrorist. Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction praised the terrorist as a “heroic martyr” and the Palestinian Authority has yet to condemn the terrorist attack.
Graham, Blunt, Cotton, Lamborn and Zeldin were joined at a press conference today by Stuart and Robbi Force, Taylor’s parents. They were also joined by members of OneFamily, an organization which brings together survivors who have lost family members to terrorist attacks, and provides support and services for these individuals.
The Taylor Force Act was also cosponsored by Senators Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and John Thune (R-South Dakota).
“This legislation shines a light on a very real problem,” said Senator Graham. “Why is the Palestinian Authority paying young Palestinians to commit acts of terror against innocent Americans like Taylor Force or Israelis? The Palestinians need to decide – do they condemn these horrible acts or do they reward them? You can’t be a partner in peace when you are paying people to commit terrorist acts. The choice the Palestinians make will determine the type of relationship they have with the United States in the years to come.”
“We cannot continue allowing U.S. taxpayer dollars to be used by the Palestinian Authority to reward convicted terrorists and their families for acts of violence against Israel or the United States,” said Senator Blunt. “Under current Palestinian Authority law, the more heinous an act of terror an individual commits, the greater the reward. This is an outrageous policy and I urge my Senate colleagues to support this effort to end the Palestinian Authority’s unconscionable law.”
"The family of Taylor Force experienced loss no loved one should ever have to endure. These reprehensible and senseless acts of terror have no room in our modern world and we should seek all available resources to stop the evil that has claimed too many innocent lives. I stand by Sen. Graham's efforts, and look forward to continuing to explore all options to stamp out terrorism," said Senator Scott.
“Taylor Force was what every parent hopes their son will be. And this legislation will honor his memory by making sure no taxpayer money rewards the kinds of terrorists who took this young man’s life,” said Senator Cotton.
“It’s unacceptable that our taxpayer dollars are still being used by the Palestinian Authority to pay terrorists who have Israeli and American blood on their hands, and to brainwash young Palestinians to hate Israel and the Jewish people. The U.S. should condition assistance to the Palestinian Authority on it stopping these despicable practices,” said Senator Rubio.
“The Palestinian Authority must be held accountable for rewarding and encouraging terrorism. We must prevent American tax dollars from being used to support government sponsored terror,” Senator Boozman said.
“This bill delivers a message that should be heard loud and clear: The United States must not fund a Palestinian leadership that engages in incitement and supports acts of terrorism against both American and Israeli citizens," said Senator Cruz. “I’m proud to work with Sen. Graham and my colleagues on this legislation, named in honor of Taylor Force, a Texas native and Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who served multiple tours in defense of our country before being murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv last year. The US must hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for continuing this heinous practice of incentivizing and rewarding terrorism by providing monthly salaries and benefits to terrorists, their families, and the families of those who died committing acts of terrorism. We must ensure US taxpayer dollars are not being used to fund and enable Palestinian terrorism and stand with Israel against radical Islamic terrorism that targets citizens from both of our countries.”
“After last year’s brutal murder of Taylor Force, Israelis and Americans mourned the loss of Force, as well as the wounding of 10 others, including a pregnant woman. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority praised the murderer. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority refused to condemn the attack, and the official Fatah Facebook page posted a statement of praise to the ‘martyrs.’ Attacks like these will continue until we use our power of the purse to actually hold the PA accountable. Our bill, the Taylor Force Act, does just that. Thank you to everyone here today who agrees that the right thing to do is clear: no taxpayer dollars to the Palestinian Authority until it condemns terrorism and stops payments to terrorists,” said Congressman Lamborn.
Congressman Zeldin said, “I am honored to be an original cosponsor and strong supporter of the Taylor Force Act. United States taxpayers should not be forced to provide their hard earned money to a Palestinian Authority that is inciting violence and financially rewarding terrorist attacks targeting innocent Americans and Israelis. Taylor Force was a United States veteran and American hero who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist given full honors by the PA at his funeral and called a 'martyr'. This is so completely wrong and unacceptable. I look forward to working my colleagues in Congress to see this legislation passed into law.”