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Cruz introduces bill to impose sanctions on Palestinian officials for rewarding terrorism



Cruz introduces bill to impose sanctions on Palestinian officials for rewarding terrorism

The End Palestinian Terror Salaries Act seeks to build on the Taylor Force Act to impose penalties on Palestinian officials who financially reward terrorists and their families.

 Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced legislation on Thursday to impose sanctions on Palestinian officials who reward terrorists.

The End Palestinian Terror Salaries Act would, within 90 days of being enacted, impose financial penalties on Palestinian officials who financially reward Palestinian terrorists and their families.

“Palestinian terrorists have wounded or killed more than a dozen Israelis over the last few months, including 45-year old American-Israeli Ari Fuld,” said Cruz. “The Palestinian government continues to provide hundreds of millions of dollars each year rewarding such terrorists and their families, providing an incentive for ever more violence.”

Fuld was stabbed to death in September by an Arab teenager in the West Bank. Despite being severely wounded, he got up and ran after the attacker, shooting him as other Israelis shopping in the area drew arms and rushed to the scene.

Fuld was soon pronounced dead at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem after doctors unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate him.

The terrorist was transported to a hospital and is currently behind bars. His family is scheduled to receive a monthly stipend of $392 from the Palestinian Authority over the next few years.

“It’s past time for Congress to impose direct costs on the Palestinian officials who manage the programs that provide these rewards,” said Cruz.

In March, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Taylor Force Act, which defunds most U.S. assistance to the P.A. for its “Martyrs Fund.”

Then in October, he signed the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act, which will eliminate remaining U.S. funding for the P.A. next month.

“Eliminating such aid, which totaled $61 million this year even as other assistance was being cut, would deal a blow to Palestinian-Israeli security cooperation that both sides value,” reported the Associated Press. “The law would also require the Jerusalem offices of the U.S. Agency for International Development to close.”

It is unknown if Cruz’s bill will pass as a stand-alone measure or be inserted into spending legislation that must be passed by the end of the week. Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Companion piece to the Taylor Force Act

Several pro-Israel groups have already come out in support of the senator’s measure.

“We deeply applaud Senator Ted Cruz for his continuous courage in introducing this bill,” EMET founder and president Sarah Stern told JNS. “The Palestinian Authority, even after the passage of the Taylor Force Act, has continued to brazenly reward Palestinian terrorists or the families of the Palestinian ‘martyrs,’ who are the murderers of American and Israeli citizens, demonstrating the upmost of contempt to the will of the American people, our elected officials and the American taxpayer who end up paying these salaries.”

“The Palestinian leadership’s immoral ‘Pay for Slay’ must be stopped,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told JNS. “For too long, the Palestinian Authority has been using American taxpayer dollars to reward terrorists for maiming and murdering U.S. and Israeli citizens. These incentives for violence and the P.A.’s constant promotion of hate are major obstacles to peace.”

“The National Council of Young Israel strongly supports the legislation,” its president, Farley Weiss, told JNS. “We helped start the issue in Congress 20 years ago with Congressman Matt Salmon to bring to justice Palestinian Arab terrorists who murdered Americans. Senator Cruz held a hearing in the Senate on this issue.”

“It is outrageous that the Palestinian Authority receives aid while using 7 percent of its budget to give financial backing to terrorists and their families including those who murder Americans,” he added. “They even name squares after such vile murderers and promote the mass murderers as heroes on their television shows and in their schools.”

Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein told JNS, “The Taylor Force Act was only the first step in the U.S. government’s attempt to stop at least some payments to Palestinian Arab terrorists.”

“The reaction of the [Palestinian] Authority has not been appropriate, so ZOA strongly endorses the imposition of sanctions on individuals within the P.A. who authorize such payments,” he continued. “Sen. Cruz has taken a very important step in keeping this issue alive. The sponsors of Palestinian terror should know that the U.S. congress will not rest until the actual payments are stopped to Palestinian terrorists and their families.”

Daniel Mariaschin, CEO and executive vice president of B’nai B’rith, echoed other groups in support of the legislation, noting its ties with the Taylor Force Act.

“This is a companion piece to the Taylor Force Act, which we have supported. If you’re going to predicate U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority on ending its support for terror, you should sanction officials who incentivize, excuse or reward it.”

However, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has not taken a position on the proposed legislation: “While we have not yet had an opportunity to review this newly introduced legislation, we strongly supported the Taylor Force Act, and we appreciate ongoing efforts to end this abhorrent practice,” spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told JNS.

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Guns and Crime

Sanctuary policies fail 14-year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz again as her suspected MS-13 murderers released a second time



Three juvenile MS-13 gang members charged for brutal murder of 14-year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz

The story of Ariana Funes-Diaz’s death is saddening because it was completely preventable. Our initial report failed to determine her alleged murderers had already been detained and released a year before she was killed.

MS-13 gang members Josue Rafael Fuentes-Ponce and Joel Ernesto Escobar were in the custody of Prince George County in Maryland with ICE detainer orders on them, but the sanctuary rules in the jurisdiction allowed their release. They allegedly claimed another victim less than a year later, had another detainer put on them following their arrest, and have again been released so they could avoid deportation.

Let that sink in. Murder suspects have been released by law enforcement because of sanctuary rules in place. There is absolutely no way for Democrats to spin this, but in their minds they’re doing the right thing because the rights of gang member illegal immigrants are higher than the rights of American citizens.

ICE has rightly condemned the rules that allowed this and the law enforcement agencies that are failing to protect Americans.

ICE seeks custody of teen murder suspects for a second time

Following the recent arrest of two unlawfully present teens suspected in the violent murder of a young girl in Maryland, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers in Baltimore are again seeking to take custody of the illegal aliens through the ICE detainer process following the Prince George’s County Detention Center’s (PGCDC) failure to cooperate.

Josue Rafael Fuentes-Ponce and Joel Ernesto Escobar, both Salvadoran nationals, were previously arrested on May 11, 2018 when they were arrested by Prince George’s County Police Department (PGCPD) for attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, participation in gang activity, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted robbery, and other related charges. ICE officers lodged a detainer with PGCDC, however both were released on an unknown date and time without notification to ICE.

Sanctuary rules give the freedom of criminal illegal aliens higher priority than the safety of American citizens. Ariana Funes-Diaz would be alive today if her MS-13 gang member murderers weren’t protected by Democrats. It’s infuriating.

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Shannon Grove on high speed rail: ‘The more we look at this project, the more uncertainties come to light’



Shannon Grove on high speed rail The more we look at this project the more uncertainties come to lig

SACRAMENTO – Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) issued the following statement after the Assembly Transportation Committee held an extensive hearing on the California High-Speed Rail project today.

“The more we look at this project, the more uncertainties come to light. Whether it is the loss of federal funds, the looming deadlines, or the failure to comply with the requirements of Proposition 1A, these hearings have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the California High-Speed Rail Authority is incapable of building anything that resembles what they promised the voters.

“Sacramento Democrats can no longer pretend they don’t know this project is off the rails. It is a shameful waste of taxpayers’ dollars and we must stop throwing our hard-earned money down the drain. It is time to kill the big rail fail,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.


Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove represents California’s 16th Senate District which encompasses large portions of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino counties and including the cities of Bakersfield, Barstow, California City, Exeter, Frazier Mountain, Joshua Tree, Mojave, Needles, Ridgecrest, Rosamond, Taft, Tehachapi, Twentynine Palms, Tulare, Visalia, Yucca Valley and portions of the Kern River Valley. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

For press inquiries or questions, please contact Jacqui Nguyen, press secretary for the Senate Republican Caucus, at 858.999.7706.

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California Senate approves bill to provide business licensing fee relief for disaster victims



California Senate approves bill to provide business licensing fee relief for disaster victims

SACRAMENTO – The state senate has unanimously passed SB 601, by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga), to waive or reduce government licensing fees for businesses recovering after a disaster.

After events like wildfires, floods, and earthquakes, victims face many challenges including increasing expenses. For small businesses, recovery can also include having to replace paperwork such as state licenses needed to operate in California.

“State licensing fees can often be a hurdle as entrepreneurs begin their careers,” said Morrell. “For businesses that have already played by the rules and contributed to our economy, SB 601 helps them get back on their feet after a disaster. While we need licensing reforms and relief across the board, I am grateful to my senate colleagues for their support of this good government measure.”

In recent years, California has seen several of the most damaging and costly natural disasters in its history. The 2017 Tubbs Fire, Southern California mudslides, and 2018 Camp Fire combined have claimed over 100 lives, destroyed more than 25,000 structures, and impacted an estimated 381,784 businesses.

Morrell has led past efforts on licensing reform in California, including the authoring of SB 999 (2018) to repeal certain licensing requirements in the fields of barbering and cosmetology as well as the authoring of SB 1155 (2017) to waive initial licensing fees for veterans entering the civilian workforce.

The bill unanimously passed the senate and will next be considered in the State Assembly.

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