TEL AVIV – President-elect Donald Trump should cut off U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority over its policy of paying millions of dollars in reward money to terrorists and their families, the Wall Street Journal urged on Sunday.
The paper opined:
Since the 1990s, as the U.S. and other countries have sent billions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, Palestinian leaders have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in rewards to those who carry out bombings, stabbings and other attacks in Israel. These payments, codified in Palestinian law, are an official incentive program for murder that in any other context would be recognized as state sponsorship of terror. But the U.S. and other Western states have looked the other way while continuing to send aid, giving Palestinian leaders no incentive to stop.
The truth is these payments are blood-soaked gifts from a Palestinian leadership still devoted more to destroying Israel than to building a Palestinian state. This has always been the chief impediment to peace. Mr. Obama is unlikely to act in his final days, but the Trump Administration and new Congress could send a powerful message by passing the Taylor Force Act.
The Taylor Force bill was introduced in September by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dan Coats of Indiana and Roy Blunt of Missouri, and is named for the American army veteran who was murdered in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian terrorist while visiting Tel Aviv in March.
“They will never achieve peace when you pay one of your young men to kill someone like Taylor Force. That’s inconsistent and it needs to stop,” Graham said. “We’re not going to invest in a group of people that have laws like this. It’s just not a good investment.”
He added that the same Palestinian law guarantees civil-service appointments for terrorists upon their release from Israeli prisons.
“If you’re in jail for five to six years, you come out with the civilian rank of department head or lieutenant in their security forces, you get to choose. If you’re in jail 25 to 30 years, you become a deputy minister or a major general,” Graham told the Wall Street Journal.
In an earlier interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said that he hopes to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – which he referred to as “the war that never ends” – by striking “the ultimate deal.”
“As a deal-maker, I’d like to do… the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake,” the president-elect said.