Taylor Force was a West Point graduate who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was pursuing his MBA at Vanderbilt last year, and his future was certainly very bright.
“Taylor was stabbed to death while he was in Israel by a Palestinian,” says his mother, Robbi, matter-of-factly.
Taylor, who was 28, was walking along the Mediterranean boardwalk promenade with friends in Tel Aviv, when he was savagely knifed to death on March 8, 2016.
His killer was identified as a Palestinian terrorist, 22-year-old Bashar Masalha, who authorities say went on a stabbing spree that also severely wounded ten others before he was shot dead by Israeli police.
“All dads and all moms are proud of their kids. Taylor basically did everything right, but he was humble about it,” says his father, Stuart.
Taylor’s parents say their grief was compounded by the fact that the family of their son’s murderer is making money off his death. The Palestinian Authority spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year paying jihadists and their survivors who were involved in acts of terrorism, and critics say some of those funds come from U.S. taxpayer money that Washington sends to the P.A.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet with President Trump at the White House on May 3. It is expected that Trump will raise the issue of payments during the visit.
A congressional bill named for Taylor, the Taylor Force Act, would cut off the U.S. aid unless the Palestinian Authority stops the payments.
“Can you imagine growing up in a country where your government will pay you for killing someone else through a terrorist act?” asks South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham incredulously. He is the leading sponsor of the Senate legislation.
“If you die as a terrorist, as a ‘martyr,’ your family will get an annual stipend greater than the average Palestinian earns. In this case, the terrorist who killed Taylor Force…was hailed as a hero, was basically given a state funeral, and his family was given money by the state,” Graham says.
SEE VIDEO OF THE FUNERAL BELOW
“The practice is inconsistent with American values, inconsistent with peace, and inconsistent with decency.”