In December, the House of Representatives passed the Taylor Force Act, which would withhold aid from the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it ends payments to terrorists and their families and takes steps to discourage terror. The Senate, however, is holding up the bill. Michael Barbero, Sander Gerber, and Michael Makovsky urge senators to prioritize its passage:
As soon as a terrorist is arrested, the PA provides him with a salary and, sometimes, a guaranteed government job upon release. The bloodier the crime and longer the sentence, the greater the reward. . . . The families of, as official Palestinian documents put it, “those martyred and wounded as a result of being participants or bystanders in the revolution” . . . also receive a monthly payment, health insurance, and tuition assistance. . . . In 2017, the Palestinian Authority budgeted $350 million to reward terrorism—around $160 million for jailed and released terrorists plus $190 million for terrorists’ families. This is roughly what American taxpayers contribute to Palestinians through payment of PA debts and direct support of projects in PA territories (excluding several hundred-million dollars to the United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency).
On strategic and humanitarian grounds, the United States should support the Palestinian people. A viable, uncorrupt, moderate PA serves U.S. and Israeli interests. Indeed, Israel and the PA cooperate on security matters, serving the interests of both parties, and it is important that such cooperation continue.
But none of these interests is served when the PA pays terrorists. Nor will suspending aid that amounts to roughly 8 percent of the PA’s budget trigger its collapse. Instead, it would pressure the PA to choose between terror and its people, revealing its true nature.