The AJT shared our view of the necessity of the Taylor Force Act in the Aug. 4 issue, and we’re pleased to report that the legislation has the momentum to carry it through to passage this year.

Before Congress took its August recess, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a revised version of the bill on a 17-4 vote. The opposition came from Democrats Cory Booker of New Jersey, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, although, based on comments Booker made to The Jewish Journal’s Jewish Insider, there’s reason to hope that at least some of those votes could be changed in the full Senate through reassurances over humanitarian aid.

The bill, which aims to punish the Palestinian Authority for rewarding terrorists and their families with support payments that escalate with the severity and deadliness of the violence, was revised to continue support for humanitarian programs and to specifically exempt the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, a recommendation from former State Department official Elliott Abrams.

Cartoon by Yaakov Kirschen, Jerusalem Post

The legislation would cut off U.S. aid that “directly benefits the Palestinian Authority” as long as its repulsive terrorist pension plan remains in place. An approved amendment from Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, calls for putting the first year’s withheld money into an escrow account, giving the PA the opportunity to regain the money by abolishing the terrorist payments.

The Taylor Force Act is named for the Army veteran and Vanderbilt University student fatally stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016, and it’s one simple, concrete step the United States can take to reduce the likelihood of other innocents falling victim to terrorism in Israel.