Betraying the memory of Captain Taylor Force
Taylor Force was a West Point graduate and veteran of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist while walking along the promenade in Tel Aviv, visiting Israel as part of a Vanderbilt University MBA study group trip examining global entrepreneurship. The terrorist was killed at the scene, before he could murder other innocent people. To this day, the Palestinian Authority pays a monthly allowance for life to the family of Taylor’s murderer, simply because the terrorist was killed during his murderous terror attack.
In order to prevent US money going to the PA as long at it pays millions of dollars every month to terrorist prisoners, released terrorists, wounded terrorists, and the families of dead terrorists - collectively known as the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” payments - US Congress passed the Taylor Force Act (TFA) in 2018. Focusing on Economic Support Fund (ESF) aid - the largest section of US aid to the PA - TFA conditioned the ESF aid on the PA’s ending its “Pay-for-slay” payments.
Ignoring the clear call of Congress, since 2018, the PA has spent an estimated one billion dollars, paying monthly terror rewards, including over $32,434 dollars to the family of Taylor’s murderer.
While the US administration is prevented from providing direct aid to the PA, according to PA Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara’s Advisor Stephan Salameh, for 2022 the US has promised at least $225 million worth of financial aid to the Palestinians.
PA Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara’s Advisor Stephan Salameh: “The promises [from the US] are: There are promises that next year  $225 million will be allocated to development projects. Also $50 million will be transferred for joint projects.”
Official PA TV host: “From institutions, not from the American administration?”
Stephan Salameh: “From the American administration, $225 million for development projects, not through the Palestinian [PA] government but rather projects by other bodies, but for developmental needs.”
TV host: “That's a good sign.”
Salameh: “Of course. $50 million for joint economic projects and support for the private sector. Also, from this $225 million there is a project to support the private sector. In addition to this, there will be between $150-200 million to support UNRWA, and additional support for other issues.”
[Official PA TV, Personal Encounter, Dec. 16, 2021]
In order to bypass the letter of US law but openly violating the spirit of the TFA, the US administration is providing the aid through its own aid organization (USAID) and is not giving the money “directly” to the PA, thereby circumventing and undermining TFA.
Whether the aid is provided directly to via the ESF or indirectly via USAID, the PA is in fact and sees itself as the main beneficiary. The terms “development projects” and “developmental needs” are just euphemisms for projects that the PA needs to fund from its own budget, but will now be funded by the US administration, thereby freeing up the PA’s own funds to continue rewarding terrorists.
Taylor Force loyally and proudly served the US. He was murdered simply because his murderer thought he was a Jew. Now, directly or indirectly, the US is providing aid and enabling the PA to pay monthly terror rewards to the family of Taylor’s murderer. The US administration’s looking for loopholes in order to bypass the TFA desecrates Taylor’s memory.
As Palestinian Media Watch has already reported, the US aid to the Palestinians is limited not only due to TFA. In addition to TFA, US law from 2014 prevents providing the PA with ESF aid if it initiates “an International Criminal Court judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.” Since the PA did indeed initiate and is actively supporting such an investigation, the US is clearly prohibited from providing any ESF aid to the Palestinians.