Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States, has launched a new effort to promote the Taylor Force Act, a bill that would make aid to the Palestinian Authority conditional on efforts to stop terror.
On Monday, CUFI released a new video promoting the act as an “opportunity for bipartisan cooperation,” and launched a new website, www.stopmoneyformurder.org, that features the video and the stories of American victims of Palestinian terrorism.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) often provides public support for terrorism, including direct incitement against Israelis and Jews through the media, and indirect encouragement in the form of public monuments named to honor Palestinian terrorists. It also provides salaries directly from the Palestinian Authority budget to convicted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons.
CUFI states at its new website:
…the PA makes generous financial payments to terrorists. PA legislation actually requires these payments and specifies that the more Israelis (including other innocent bystanders) a terrorist kills, the more money the terrorist will receive. If the terrorist is killed or imprisoned, his family receives these payments. The sums involved are far more than most Palestinians could ever make through honest work.
In addition, the PA encourages violence by praising terrorists as “martyrs” and “heroes” and naming its streets, stadiums and town squares after them. The PA delegitimizes Israel by denying the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel in its textbooks and on its television. The PA’s recent lies about Israel’s intentions on the Temple Mount have fueled the latest “stabbing intifada.”
Taylor Force was a Vanderbilt graduate student and U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan after graduating from West Point. He was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa, Israel in March this year.
The proposed legislation — sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and several other Republican Senators — provides:
Funds appropriated or otherwise made available for assistance … for the West Bank and Gaza may only be made available for such purpose if the Secretary of State certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the Palestinian Authority—
(1) is taking credible steps to end acts of violence against United States and Israeli citizens that are perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control …
(2) is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is taking steps to investigate or is cooperating in investigations of such acts to bring the perpetrators to justice; and
(3) has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against United States and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been imprisoned after being fairly tried and convicted for such acts of terrorism and to any individual who died committing such acts of terrorism, including to a family member of such individuals.
Current law already prohibits funds from being transferred to the Palestinian Authority under certain conditions, but the law allows that prohibition to be waived by the President of the United States for the interests of U.S. national security. The PA has also evaded that law by having payments routed to its creditors, or to the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Taylor Force Act makes no provision for a waiver or third parties, and requires Congress be satisfied that the PA is in compliance.
In a press statement, CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee said: “Americans cannot support an entity that sponsors terrorism and incites violence. The Taylor Force Act isn’t about Democrat vs Republican, it’s about right and wrong. Every Member of Congress should back this legislation, and it should be one of the easiest decisions they make.”
CUFI Director David Brog added: “We cannot ignore the fact that when we send hundreds of millions of dollars to the PA we are subsidizing these terror payments. That’s precisely why we must cut our aid to the PA until they stop funding terror. Doing so won’t harm the prospects for peace. On the contrary, forcing the PA to renounce terrorism in both word and deed is a fundamental first step towards achieving peace. If Republicans and Democrats are looking for a bi-partisan issue on which to work together, stopping these payments is the perfect place to start.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.