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The gutting of the Taylor Force Act, by Stephen M. Flatow (JNS)

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Dec. 4, 2017

The Taylor Force Act started out as a powerful and long-overdue tool for pressuring the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop paying terrorists. But the legislation has been diluted, weakened and compromised in so many ways that it is now a pale shadow of its former self. The Taylor Force Act has been gutted.

The idea behind the bill was to reduce U.S. aid to the Palestinians in proportion to the amount that the PA pays to terrorists.

Stopping such payments is obviously a necessity. And the U.S. has the leverage to stop them—the hundreds of millions of dollars that America provides to the Palestinians each year. The original Taylor Force Act would have linked the two. But as the bill began working its way through the legislative process in recent months, the appeasers jumped in.

There are officials in the State Department and certain congressional offices who are deeply pro-Palestinian. They started pushing for all sorts of exceptions and loopholes. Unfortunately, some congressional staffers and Jewish leaders who support the bill got weak in the knees. They decided they had to accept compromises in order to get more votes for the bill.

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Arlene Kushner says: “Had the Taylor Force Act been passed in its original formulation, it would have been effective: it required withholding of US funds to the PA in the amount that is paid out for terrorist wages. But it has been watered down. And so, while I hesitate to say that it is useless or serves no purpose, it will not have the desired effect.

Stephen Flatow, however, argues otherwise: “Sometimes a bill is so deeply flawed that it is actually worse than no bill—because it will prevent any other action from being taken on the issue. This is one such bill.””


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