The House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a modified version of the Taylor Force Act (H.R. 1164) on Wednesday, Nov. 15. (The AJT has endorsed the legislation, which targets the Palestinian Authority’s program of paying terrorists and their families for attacks on Israelis.)
Before the vote, the Zionist Organization of America offered reluctant support for the bill, lamenting that the current version is “not nearly as strong as it should be.”
“The revised House bill, like the Senate bill, only cuts funds which, in the language of the convoluted political appropriations process, ‘directly benefits’ the anti-Semitic PA — even though every U.S. ‘indirect’ dollar given to this Nazi-like Arab regime is actually of direct benefit to them in real terms. So this revised bill now excludes roughly half of the assistance under threat, amounting to only about $130 million,” the ZOA said.
The following are some Jewish organizations’ responses in support of the House committee’s action:
- Rabbi Joel Meyers, chair, World Jewish Congress United States — “The World Jewish Congress was at the forefront of advocacy for the Taylor Force Act, and we are very pleased that the House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted this legislation. The Palestinian Authority cannot continue to encourage and incentivize terrorism. U.S. taxpayer funds cannot go to paying salaries to terrorists who murder and injure innocent people. We applaud the House Foreign Affairs Committee for adoption of the Taylor Force Act, an important step in the efforts to combat terrorism and in the interests of peace. Acts of terror undermine the hopes of achieving peace, which cannot be made in at an atmosphere poisoned with hatred and terror. We urge the full House to now help support and pass the Taylor Force Act.”
- Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy, Orthodox Union — “Today’s unanimous approval of the Taylor Force Act is a major step toward ending the Palestinians’ heinous practice of ‘pay for slay.’ It sends a clear message to the Palestinians, and to the world, that the U.S. will no longer tolerate the diversion of its aid to fund a system that rewards terrorists for the murder of Israelis and Americans.”
- Israeli-American Coalition for Action — “This vital piece of legislation advances prospects for peace by conditioning continued U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the PA ending its repugnant policy of financially rewarding terrorists and their families. The bill is named for U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force, who was brutally murdered by a terrorist while vacationing in Israel last year. Under the PA’s current policies, the terrorist’s family members receive a stipend equivalent to several times the average Palestinian monthly wage because of his murderous act. The Taylor Force Act will ensure that U.S. taxpayers no longer subsidize these payments. The IAC for Action was proud to partner with a bipartisan group of members of Congress to ensure broad bipartisan support for this important bill. We are especially grateful to Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), as well as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), for their leadership on this important bill.
“Today’s markup also approved two other important bipartisan bills targeting Hamas and Palestinian terrorism. The Hamas Human Shields Prevention Act, authored by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), will impose additional sanctions on Hamas for its grotesque policy of using its civilians as human shields. The Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act, authored by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), targets foreign governments for supporting Hamas in its quest to commit acts of terror against Israel. The IAC for Action commends the Foreign Affairs Committee for its leadership in opposing terrorist groups and supporting policies to advance prospects for peace, and we look forward to seeing these bills signed into law.”