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Beltway Briefing

"It’s a right versus wrong. People shouldn’t be paid money for injuring or killing in innocent civilians"


was a sunny day at the “House Triangle” on Capitol Hill last week as Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO), together with Rep. Lee Zeldin and other House colleagues, gathered outside with the parents of fallen soldier Taylor Force, murdered in Tel Aviv in March 2016 by a Hamas terrorist.

Force’s murder led to the passing of the act that bears his name, cutting non-humanitarian US aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops paying terrorists and their families.

The reason for last week’s press conference was the introduction of the “Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act,” a follow-up bill that would authorize the US Treasury to designate foreign banks that engage in money-laundering, and to forbid them from transacting business in the United States if they facilitate payments to terrorists or knowingly provide financial services to Hamas.

“The original Taylor force bill was bipartisan, and this one in the House already is starting out as bipartisan,” Rep. Lamborn told Mishpacha. “We have a Democratic co-sponsor — Juan Vargas of California. And we anticipate getting a lot more. We’ve just started the process, and any reasonable person is going to say, ‘Hey, we shouldn’t use US taxpayer dollars to reward the killing of innocent civilians,’ and that’s exactly what this bill will do.

“This bill takes it one further step from the original bill by bringing in financial institutions. So, by making sure that any financial institution that facilitates the payment of terrorists after they’ve killed Jews, by passing this bill, they can’t have a US correspondent account, and they’ll be designated as a terrorist organization. And if they do business with Hamas in particular, they’ll be penalized.”

I asked Stuart Force, Taylor’s father, how he feels about the PA still sending money to the families of terrorists, despite the Taylor Force Act being passed.

“When the first Taylor Force Act was passed, I was pretty naive to the whole political scene and I was hopeful,” he said. “But as we found out, nothing really has changed. Perhaps when the PA gets new leadership — Mahmoud Abbas is 87 — there’ll be a change. I hope this legislation will stop the payments, and the money-laundering going through middlemen. Terrorists really, in my opinion, have no motive to stop, because it makes them wealthy. So we’re just doing everything we can to address that.”

I asked him if he was optimistic that the bill could get a bipartisan support. “I think so,” he said. “Our whole approach for the original [bill] was — it’s not a partisan issue. It’s a right versus wrong. People shouldn’t be paid money for injuring or killing in innocent civilians.”


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 912)

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