In 2016, while Vice President Joe Biden was in Israel speaking with former President Shimon Peres, a U.S. Army vet named Taylor Force was stabbed and murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv – less than a mile away from where Biden was at the time. The extraordinary audacity of the terrorist attack drew a new and important spotlight not only to the practices of the Palestinian leadership but to their habit of providing welfare payments to the families of terrorists killed or imprisoned after carrying out attacks on Israelis. The episode led to Congress passing the Taylor Force Act, which gives the United States more discretion when it comes to how our aid dollars to Palestine are used.
For the Trump administration, the new law doesn’t quite go far enough. Palestinian terrorists are reportedly still getting payoffs from the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the two groups mostly responsible for what can loosely be called “governing” in Gaza and the West Bank. On Friday, the administration decided it had seen enough. The State Department announced that $200 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority would be frozen immediately until such time that they could prove that they were no longer funding terrorism in any way.
From the Washington Free Beacon:
President Donald Trump directed his administration to freeze $200 million in aid dollars allocated to the PA for economic support, according to an announcement by the State Department issued just a short time after lawmakers on Capitol Hill were informed of the move, sources said.
One senior U.S. official familiar with the decision to cut U.S. aid told the Free Beacon the administration will no longer enable the Palestinian Authority and those in the Hamas terrorist government to use aid dollars in their war against Israel.
“Hamas is fighting a morally-bankrupt war at the expense of the Palestinian people,” said the official, who was only authorized to speak on background. “Hamas’s corrupt and illegitimate control has provoked conflict and led to poverty and hopelessness, while hampering the ability of the international community to help.”
Reducing economic aid to a country that depends on it is not a move to be taken lightly, but frankly this is the kind of strong, yet politically-divisive, move that Donald Trump was elected to take. Trump is not held back by the urges of the European Union, the pleas of the United Nations, or the tears from Washington liberals who think America should solve the world’s problems. He is guided by reason, logic, and instinct. And he knows that you don’t stop rogue leaders with threats; you stop them by taking efficient, decisive action. And unlike the last guy, he isn’t confused about who are – and aren’t – our friends in the Middle East.