In September of 2016, SC Senator Lindsey Graham- along with Sen. Tim Scott and others introduced a bill that became known as “The Taylor Force Act.” In late February, 2017 they reintroduced it in the current session as S-474. If you are looking for a single piece of legislation that you might focus on to lobby your elected officials to pass, the Taylor Force Act is a worthy vehicle for your attentions.
Taylor Force was a 29-year-old American whose all-too-brief life was none-the-less well-lived. A graduate of West Point, Taylor had shown his ambition and dedication to purpose early in life by becoming an Eagle Scout. He ran track and cross country, so he was an athlete as well as a very bright guy. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan fulfilling his commitment to the Army before retiring. Taylor was a graduate student in Vanderbilt University working on his MBA when he took a trip to Israel. The purpose of the trip was to observe global entrepreneurship; Israel is a leader in business start-ups and tech innovations. It was there that Taylor Force, an already accomplished young man full of still greater promise was killed by a Palestinian terrorist.
The backstory of the event in which Taylor Force was knifed to death is that such acts are considered “heroic” by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The story also includes the fact that our country has sponsored the terrorists and enabled such terrorism for decades. That America provides financial support to the PA is not just disappointing, in my view it is an outrage. With the election of Donald Trump as POTUS, there comes all sorts of opportunities to change the status quo in DC. Here is one way, we can help “drain the swamp,” we can encourage our elected officials to defund foreign aid to state sponsors of terrorism.
The Palestinian Authority was born out of the PLO and its leader Yasser Arafat in 1994, and it has engaged in a relentless campaign to destroy Israel and impose its will on the region ever since. Arafat, that malignant little terrorist, won the Noble Peace Prize in 1994 by fooling Bill Clinton about his real intentions. In his naïve attempt to bring peace to the Middle East, the only Clinton to win the Presidency believed that the PA could be a reliable partner; which is absurd because the PA was not then nor is it now anything but a local terrorist cell.
That an American President could be drawn in by such a miscreant as Yasser Arafat does not speak well of the intelligence community in DC. At any rate, among the billions of tax payer dollars that we give to suspect foreign entities, the PA must surely rate as one of the better examples of how our desire to spread our influence leads us to have less than noble partners. Since 2000 we have given the PA in excess of 5 billion dollars. Obama tried to send them another 221 million his last week in office.
If it becomes law, S-474 would reduce foreign aid to the PA unless they stop encouraging acts of terrorism against Jews and Americans. You see, the PA pays “martyrs” to kill people, the deadlier an attack the more they pay for the terrorism. Such “pay for slay” activities have been codified by the PA, they actually have a law rewarding such acts financially.
And just as federal dollars to Planned Parenthood are fungible and therefore enable abortion so, too, does any foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority support acts of terror. This is not rocket science, neither can either example just given be denied through the use of logic. Appeals in support of abortion or terrorism should be dismissed out of hand by moral people.
The Taylor Force Act has it limits, it would only reduce our foreign aid by 200 million but it’s a start. Maybe the POTUS, who has thus far been silent, will engage on the subject. Trump is planning to have the current head of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, visit DC in the near future. What better time to deliver a message that Trump is not Obama, that the USA is once again a stalwart ally of Israel.
John F. Kennedy once said, “A nation reveals itself not only by those it produces, but also by those it remembers.” Taylor Force was a guy any parent would have been proud of…let your Senators know that.
David W. Thompson worked in government, education and the non-profit sector for more than forty years. A graduate of Westminster College and Harvard University, he resides in Easley, SC. You can follow him
on his blog, Smokealarms2015.com.