Friday’s Omnibus Bill will Include Taylor Force Penalties to the Palestinian Authority
The widening gap between the Trump Administration and the Palestinian Authority stands to expand even further on Friday when Congress is expected to pass the omnibus spending bill which will trigger the process of withholding some $300 million in promised aid to the Palestinians. The loss of American largesse is pursuant to the Taylor Force Act, named for an American citizen stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist whose family will become eligible for stipends paid by the PA to perpetrators of violence against Israelis. Despite insistence by Palestinian officials who argue that absent the payments from the PA more radical groups such as Hamas will win over the loyalty of the families and associates of assailants, Congress was adamant in its rejection of US tax dollars being used to “reward” terror regardless of the alleged justification. Since the Taylor Force Act circulated through Congress, relations with the PA have devolved to the point of PA President Abbas refusing to accept the United States as an honest broker to oversee peace talks and President Trump infuriating the Palestinians with a statement of recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and the announcement that the US Embassy will move to Jerusalem in May. Lest there be any doubt regarding President Abbas’s position vis-à-vis the United States, his recent wish to President Trump that his “house be destroyed” and his reference to American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman as a “son of a dog” continue to reverberate in media and in diplomatic circles.