T he US government officially stopped funding Palestinian terror in late March.

The Taylor Force Act, passed into law one week before Pesach, will withhold US funds from the PA until the State Department can certify that Ramallah is ending payments to jailed terrorists and their surviving families. In 2017, the Palestinian Authority budgeted approximately $350 million to support terror activities.

The legislation, which was passed as a rider to the omnibus spending bill, makes three exceptions. The US will continue to fund programs supporting East Jerusalem hospitals, childhood vaccination programs, and water projects.

The law was named for Taylor Force, 29, an American citizen who was murdered on March 8, 2016, in a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv. A native of Lubbock, Texas, Force was an officer in the US Army. He graduated from West Point in 2009 and served tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was a third-generation military man: His grandfather graduated from the military academy in Nashville, Tennessee, and served in the Korean War; his father served in the US Air Force. After completing his service, Force went to Vanderbilt University, where he was studying for his master’s degree in business. In the course of his studies, he visited Israel for a week as part of a Vanderbilt University study group examining global entrepreneurship.

I spoke to Taylor Force’s father, Stuart Force, after the final vote, one year after the act was first introduced.

How do you feel now that the law has finally been passed?

“We’ve been on a roller coaster ever since we got the message on March 8, and I feel like this is the high point of the roller-coaster ride. After all the twists and turns, this is the good part of the ride. When legislation goes through, nothing is exactly like you wanted. But we were elated that it actually happened.”

There were so many hurdles before the law was passed. Did you ever give up hope at any point?

“Actually, we didn’t. We felt from the beginning that this was the right thing to do. It was a little frustrating to have to tell people about the [terror funding] reward system; so many people had no idea. People live their lives here in the US and have no inkling of what goes on in other countries. It was an educational process.”

What do you expect the outcome of this law will be?

“The immediate outcome, I believe, will be that the US will withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority until they can certify with the secretary of state that the money we give to the Palestinians is not going to pay terrorists or their families for killing Israelis, Americans, or anybody else who may be visiting Israel. Long term, we hope it will make other countries aware that when they support the Palestinian Authority, there is the possibility that their money is being diverted and is not being used for humanitarian aid but to reward terrorism. It’s a worldwide thing. Countries give foreign aid, and sometimes it isn’t used for what it was intended — to help other people. We are hoping the law will be fully implemented, and that our money doesn’t go to pay terrorists. (Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 705)