In March, Congress passed the Taylor Force Act. Named after a Texan graduate of West Point who was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian assailant in Jaffa, the act requires the U.S. to withhold funding from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to provide financial incentives for terrorism. Last week, Australia announced a similar policy, while the Knesset passed its own version of the act. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:
Though it may be weaker than the Taylor Force Act, the law passed by the Knesset . . . will require the government to deduct the 1.2 billion shekels a year that the PA pays terrorists [from the] money Israel withholds from the taxes and tariffs it collects for the Palestinians. The American law, on the other hand, requires the U.S. government to hold back all discretionary funds for aid. . . .
Force was killed . . . on March 8, 2016, by the twenty-one-year-old Bashar Masalha from [the West Bank city of] Qalqiliya, during a twenty-minute stabbing rampage that injured ten others, including Force’s wife. Masalha was killed that night, but his family receives a monthly pension from the Palestinian Authority Martyrs’ Fund, a stipend several times the average monthly wage in the Palestinian territories.
There were three other attacks in Israel that March 8, . . . in which a dozen Israeli civilians and police officers were wounded in knife and gun attacks. Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad all issued statements praising the attacks. Fatah said that such attacks would continue “so long as Israel does not believe in the two-state solution and ending its occupation.” . . . That was two years ago. But [the incitement] hasn’t stopped. . . . After the Knesset bill was passed, Palestinian officials emphasized that the PA will continue to pay stipends to prisoners and their families. Just last week . . . official PA television broadcast a song to pregnant Palestinians saying, “your fetus will be a martyr for Palestine.”
It is now the turn of others to stand up and do the right thing. Follow the example of the U.S., Australia, and Israel and call out the incitement and lies. Hold the PA’s feet to the fire and ask why killers or their families are being paid. Stuart Force, Taylor’s father, in Israel to watch the Knesset vote on the bill, [told a reporter], “Hopefully this will be the first step to ending terror, and maybe it will make the European Union and Canada check where their money is going.” Maybe.
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