The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, welcomed last week’s introduction of legislation by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would suspend US financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it stops using American dollars to pay stipends to the families of terrorists who kill Israeli citizens.
The Taylor Force Act, named for the Vanderbilt University graduate student and former US Army officer stabbed to death in Jaffa by a Palestinian terrorist last year, would make future US financial aid to the Palestinian Authority contingent on the PA ending its policy of paying life-long stipends to terrorists and their surviving family members.
Mark (Moshe) Bane, president of the Orthodox Union, stated: “We are thankful to Sen. Graham for addressing this critical issue. His leadership is greatly appreciated.”
Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy for the Orthodox Union, stated: “It is outrageous that the Palestinian Authority uses US financial assistance to reward Palestinian terrorists and their families for murdering Israelis, and the United States must stop being an unwitting party to this practice. We commend Sen. Graham and the bill’s co-sponsors for taking a stand against violence and terrorism and for supporting Israel, America’s closest ally in the Middle East.”
Since the mid-1990s, the United States has contributed more than $5 billion in security assistance to the Palestinians. However, the Palestinian Authority uses a portion of these tax dollars to pay stipends to terrorists and their families in perpetuity. According to a 2014 study by the Israeli government, based on internal PA documents, these prisoners and their families received more than $75 million in “reward” money in a single year.