Taylor Force young in his late 20s still has a lot of things to accomplish, and promising possibilities easily predict he'll do great for the rest of his succeeding years in life. He is, after all, a West Point graduate who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was pursuing his MBA Vanderbilt last year. Whether he opts to remain with the military or explore opportunities in the private sector, the future certainly looks bright for Force. Until that precious life was cut short by a deplorable murder.
Taylor, 28, was walking along the Mediterranean boardwalk promenade with his friends in Tel Aviv when he was brutally knifed to death on March 8 last year. His killer turned out to be a Palestinian terrorist, 22-year-old Bashar Masalha, who went on a stabbing spree that time and severely wounded ten others. He was later shot dead by Israeli police.
What makes the grief of Taylor's parents even greater and more painful is the appalling thought that the family of their son's murderer is making money off Taylor's death. And that's because the Palestinian Authority (PA) spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year rewarding jihadists and their survivors who were involved with acts of terrorism with huge money. Unfortunately for the Americans, part of such social and moral anomaly involves funds that come from the U.S. taxpayers with the money Washington sends to the Palestinian Authority as aid.
There have been persistent calls on the side of the conservatives for the U.S. to cut aid to Palestinian Authority. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet with President Trump at the White House on May 3. It is anticipated that Trump will bring up the issue of payments during the visit.
A congressional bill named after Taylor, the Taylor Force Act, would cut off the U.S. aid unless the PA stops the condemnable practice of giving reward money to terrorists and their families. The bill's leading sponsor of the Senate legislation, South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, incredulously even asked: "Can you imagine growing up in a country where your government will pay you for killing someone else through a terrorist act?" The Senator elaborated that under such deplorable system when a terrorist dies, he is regarded as a martyr and his family will get an annual stipend greater than what the average Palestinian earns. In Taylor's case, his killer was hailed as a hero, was given a state funeral, and his family was rewarded with money.
Such practice is inconsistent with American values, inconsistent with peace, and inconsistent with decency, insists Graham. The House bill is sponsored by Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn and New York Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin. The White House has given signals that it supports the bill. Graham also believes that Trump will sign the bill should it reach his desk.
The U.S. government gives the Palestinian Authority more than $300 million a year as aid. From that amount, the PA gives the same amount to the families of terrorists, or about 7 percent of its total budget. America's ally, Israel, is also against the system which gives aid to the PA which it has a long-standing conflict with. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said he thinks nobody, no American or Israeli would be happy to know that his taxpayer money is being used as payment to families for terrorism.
Taylor's family said such set-up adds to their shock of losing their son. They support the legislation of the bill named in honor of their son, the real martyr in this case.