Tay­lor Force Act set for crit­i­cal vote

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - Michael Wil­ner

WASH­ING­TON – A con­gres­sional bill that seeks to com­pel the Pales­tinian Author­ity to end its com­pen­sa­tion pro­gram for fam­i­lies of con­victed ter­ror­ists in Is­rael with the threat of an aid cut will reach a crit­i­cal vote in the House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee on Wed­nes­day.

A mark-up vote on the Tay­lor Force Act is ex­pected to pass with broad bi­par­ti­san sup­port, clear­ing the way for a full vote on the House floor. The PA pas­sion­ately op­poses the leg­is­la­tion, claim­ing that its “mar­tyr” com­pen­sa­tion scheme ben­e­fits gen­er­a­tions of fam­i­lies that in­clude those of le­git­i­mate com­bat­ants in the Pales­tinian strug­gle for in­de­pen­dence.

Is­rael ar­gues that the pro­gram is a per­verse in­cen­tive for Pales­tinian vi­o­lence against civil­ians. In prin­ci­ple, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his ad­min­is­tra­tion have con­demned the pro­gram. But they have stopped short of en­dors­ing the Tay­lor Force Act, cog­nizant of PA op­po­si­tion and the ef­fects its pas­sage might have on their ef­fort to re­boot the Mid­dle East peace process. The bill is named after a US Army vet­eran mur­dered by a Pales­tinian ter­ror­ist in Jaffa last year.

If passed, the PA would have to end its com­pen­sa­tion pro­gram, which pro­vides monthly stipends to Pales­tini­ans con­victed of mur­der or ter­ror­ism in Is­rael rel­a­tive to the length of their prison sen­tences, and to rel­a­tives of slain ter­ror­ists.

After ne­go­ti­at­ing some wig­gle room into the bill, grant­ing the PA time to phase out the pro­gram, Democrats have en­dorsed the GOP-drafted leg­is­la­tion whole­heart­edly. It en­joys sup­port from top Democrats in both the House and the Se­nate, and the back­ing of Amer­ica’s largest Is­rael ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Amer­i­can Is­rael Pub­lic Af­fairs Com­mit­tee.

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