Beyond the Cusp

August 11, 2017

Will There be a Day of Reckoning?

 

I was simply curious whether acts have consequences when the acts are simply votes taken in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. You see, these committees meet and consider whether or not a piece of legislation is recommended on the floor of the full Senate. When a committee votes down legislation it might get a mention if only in case some Senator decides to request it be resubmitted either to the same group which just rejected it or maybe a more positive suggestion of submission to a different committee which will likely also reject it. You see the Senate is a rather stuffy club where the main act is mutual back scratching. This is about a piece of legislation which we should have spoken of earlier as it is a wonderful and necessary idea which somebody finally took the initiative to suggest it. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee actually passed it on to either the next committee or, if the world has any decency, on to the full Senate where it receives fairly solid bipartisan support. The vote in this case was seventeen to four where all eleven Republicans affirmed support while the ten Democrats split six in favor and four opposed. The legislation is called H.R.1164 in the House of Representatives, S 474 in the Senate and the Taylor Force Act in public and generally. What follows are the particulars and then we will sink our teeth into just those particulars.

 

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and their vote
Republicans (all voted in favor)
Bob Corker, Tennessee Chairman; Jim Risch, Idaho; Marco Rubio, Florida; Ron Johnson, Wisconsin; Jeff Flake, Arizona; Cory Gardner, Colorado; Todd Young, Indiana; John Barrasso, Wyoming; Johnny Isakson, Georgia; Rob Portman, Ohio; Rand Paul, Kentucky
Democrats (voted six in favor with four opposed)
Ben Cardin, Maryland, Ranking Member, Aye; Bob Menendez, New Jersey, Former Chairman, Aye; Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire, Aye; Chris Coons, Delaware, Aye; Tom Udall, New Mexico, Nay; Chris Murphy, Connecticut, Nay; Tim Kaine, Virginia, Aye; Ed Markey, Massachusetts, Aye; Jeff Merkley, Oregon, Nay; Cory Booker, New Jersey, Nay

 

So, before ripping into Cory Booker, Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy; let us discuss the particulars about the Taylor Force Act. It gets its name, obviously, from Taylor Force who was a United States Army Veteran who while visiting Israel last year was murdered by an Arab Islamic terrorist in a stabbing attack while touring in Tel Aviv. The Arab was not necessarily an extremist in any way, shape or form as murdering Israelis, or anybody who is not an Arab Palestinian, is the basis of the Palestinian Authority (PA) economy. The PA pays its awardees a very handsome superannuation directly proportional to the numbers of Israelis murdered plus a smaller allowance for those injured by their cowardly act. These remunerations are of such stature that they far outpace the income of the PA regular employees and even those of the PA Security Forces. These payments transfer to the terrorist’s family if they should die as a result of their actions or if they are imprisoned. These payments are of sufficient reward that some of these murderers have admitted to Israeli officers and intelligence personnel that their motivation was financial and they committed their act of terrorism to provide sufficient financial rewards for their families. These stipends prorated on a per victim and their status of dead or injured is simply another means of incitement by the PA which are performed with the obvious consent and implication of the entirety of the PA officers, officials and employees as all parts of the PA governance is involved in some manner. The terrorist who murdered American Taylor Force receives, along with his family, a handsome reward for his murder plus additional rewards for any others who were murdered or maimed in his “heroic” acts of terrorism. The Taylor Force Act will prevent all funding to the PA until they cease their remuneration of terrorists past, present and future. The attack which murdered Taylor Force also resulted in eleven others being injured; including Taylor Force’s wife was severely injured in the attack, a pregnant woman, an Arab Israeli, and a Palestinian who was illegally residing in Israel.

 

US Army Veteran West Point 2009 Graduate Taylor Force

US Army Veteran West Point 2009 Graduate Taylor Force

 

So, the Taylor Force Act was, in the simplest words, a law which demands termination of payments to terrorists by the PA before they will receive funding. What could Cory Booker, Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy possibly have found in such legislation which would cause them to oppose the terms found within. What could drive any Americans to not oppose payments made to terrorists on a basis of how many innocents they murdered and maimed. We cannot think of a single factor which might make such payments acceptable. Perhaps the reason was that the majority of these terror victims are Israelis, or more specifically Jews, made the payments understandable. Where this could be something acceptable for some Europeans, but we were taught that the people of the United States were different and had rejected the old hatreds of Europe. Apparently not completely as Cory Booker, Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy appear to suffer from some ailment which makes terrorism against Israelis acceptable and even worthy of financial rewards. After all, that is the exact message which they made by opposing the Taylor Force Act. But already there have been efforts to exempt certain allocations to the PA such as to hospitals and other presumed social welfare payments not related to terrorism. The problem is that the PA has proven through past efforts that the terror payments are of such paramount importance that those allocations are allocated before any other payments are approved. The PA was unable to pay their employees including the physicians, nurses, technicians and other hospital employees along with their governmental staffs as they used the majority of their funds received to pay the terror stipends and their security forces and then made a desperate plea to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, other Arab nations and to European nations and the European Union. Most of the response with emergency funds came from the European Union and several European governments as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This was proof that any funding sent to the PA will go to the terrorists and their families before any other funding is undertaken, thus exempting any specific services is actually agreeing to pay the terrorist funding. The PA does not keep records of where the funds they receive are used spending them without any care to the intended usage which might have applied to the funding.

 

These four Senators are not the sole individuals in opposition of ending any of the funds appropriated to the PA. Another person who desires that these funds continue to flow is Secretary of State Tillerson. He assured the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that particular morning that the PA has intended to end the terrorist payments and then that afternoon told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the United States and the PA would continue dialog towards ending the payments. Some have pointed to the State Department personnel which have a long history of supporting the PA and the PLO before them while taking strong stands against Israel often calling into question Israel blaming terrorism and the PA for the lack of progress in resolving the Arab/Israeli conflict. The State Department also has often taken positions opposing statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu as well as other Israeli political leaders, particularly those they consider to be nationalist or right wing. The State Department has also denied the PA payments to terrorists claiming, exactly as the PA claims, that these payments are merely social welfare payments to families whose main breadwinner is serving time in an Israeli prison. The State Department does not make referential differences between terrorist prisoners and other prisoners.

 

Another supposed reason for leniency in the application of the Taylor Force Act has been that Israeli military courts which hear the vast majority of terror cases brought in Judea and Samaria have a conviction rate hovering around ninety-nine-percent. This is interpreted as meaning that such a high percentage has to be due to biases against those who are charged and could never mean that these cases are almost always of people caught in the act of committing the acts of terror leaving little chance of anything other than a guilty verdict. The percentage in the Israeli civil courts on terrorism cases is also close to perfect and for the very same reason. The Israelis often need to enter areas where the arresting officers must go in force and risk their lives to make a terror arrest as they almost always meet active resistance often with Molotov cocktails, rocks and all too often end up engaged in a major firefight against well-armed terrorist sympathizers and supporters. For this reason, they do not even attempt to make an arrest away from the scene of a terror attack unless the person is a high value target. Another reason for the high conviction rate is when a terrorist escapes the scene they are not always found and unless they have a solid and escape proof case, there will be no attempted arrest. Israel values the lives of their officers as well as those of innocent Arabs and does not place the safety of either in danger unless the need to apprehend an individual is of paramount importance. Often such people are the planners, bomb makers or those who have not only committed terror acts but facilitated the terrorist actions of others. When these are the ones arrested and the remainder being caught at the scene in the progress of committing the attack, then your conviction rate is rather high. According to Center on Law and Security, New York University School of Law (PDF format), “The overall conviction rate for prosecutions involving terrorism charges rate now stands at 89%.” Apparently convictions on charges of terrorism is not something which is difficult as the evidence is, more often than not, quite overwhelming. The Taylor Force Act seeks to remove funding by the PA for terrorism and only if they refuse to end paying families whose members have slaughtered innocent Israelis and others (they do not pay for any Arabs murdered by accident, only Christian, Jews and other non-Muslims), then they would intercede and end funding for the PA making it difficult for them to continue such funding. The legislation wishes not to hurt innocent Palestinians but also recognizes that paying murderers before you pay the salaries of hospital employees and other government employees is wrong and thus must be made to end, period. Taylor Force died because of such funding and the family of his murderer is receiving a stipend where his death added to the cash rewards they receive every month and they will benefit from his death until either the world demands an end to this blood money or the PA no longer exists. Those are the realities of this situation as plainly as we can word it.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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