American victims of Palestinian terror attacks have petitioned President Donald Trump to prohibit Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas from entering the United States this week due to his material support for terrorism, according to a letter sent to the White House asking the president to assert new powers granted under recently passed anti-terrorism legislation in Congress.
The families of at least 22 individuals killed by Palestinian terrorist attacks are asking that Trump invoke recently granted legal powers to prohibit Abbas's entry to America due to his status as the leader of Palestinian entities incentivizing terror via annual payments to convicted terrorists, a controversial policy long subsidized by U.S. taxpayer aid dollars.
The effort to block Abbas from the United States first started late last week, when Palestinian Media Watch, an advocacy organization that tracks jihadi rhetoric, petitioned the State Department on the matter. That letter was met with a tepid response by the State Department, prompting prominent victims of Palestinian terrorism to appeal directly to Trump.
The letter includes signatures from Rabbi Yonah and Mary Fuld, the parents of Ari Fuld, an American pro-Israel activist who was murdered earlier this month by a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist.
Other notable signers include Stuart and Robbi Force, the parents of Taylor Force, a U.S. Army veteran who was killed by Palestinian terrorists in 2016. Force later became the face of Palestinian terror attacks on Americans when lawmakers named after him a new law that cracks down on the Palestinian government’s routine payments to terrorists, a policy known as "Pay to Slay."
The terror victims urge Trump to invoke new powers granted under the Taylor Force Act, championed by the president, to stop Abbas from entering America this week to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), a platform Abbas routinely uses to bash Israel and brag about his government's ongoing payments to convicted terrorists.
"President Trump, we recognize and are grateful to you for taking the bold, courageous and moral stance of demanding that the Palestinians cease inciting to violence and terror, ceasing American funding to Palestinian and United Nations organizations that promote violence and closing the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] offices in Washington," the families write in their letter to Trump.
"With this in mind, we respectfully request that you immediately declare Mahmoud Abbas a persona non grata and an ‘Inadmissible Alie,' and prohibit his entry to the United States in advance of the United Nations General Assembly meeting later this week, and until such time that he unequivocally renounces terror and ceases all payments and incentives to terrorists as required under the Taylor Force Act," the letter states.
The advocacy group Palestinian Media Watch made similar case in a letter sent last week to the State Department, which informed the Free Beacon it is unlikely to pursue such an effort.
The State Department's response was met with disappointment by the pro-Israel community, prompting the victims of terrorism to join in a separate effort to directly appeal to Trump.
"We, the undersigned American citizens whose loved ones were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, are disappointed and outraged by the American government's willingness to grant admission to United States to Palestinian Authority President and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas," the terror victims wrote, noting recent comments from Abbas celebrating the payments to terrorists and vowing to continue them despite a recent cut-off in U.S. aid dollars.
"Not only is this decision a slap in the face to every American who has suffered from terror, but it is in clear violation of the spirit and the letter of American law," the letter continues. "The law is very clear on protecting America's borders from terrorists and prohibits entry to those involved in incentivizing terror."
Stuart Force, in signing the letter to Trump, said "there is no reason on earth that the U.S. should allow that criminal in our soil."
Similarly, Micah Lakin Avni, the son a Richard Lakin, a 76-year old retired elementary school principal from Connecticut who was shot in the head and stabbed multiple times by Palestinian terrorists on a public bus in Jerusalem in October 2015, told the Free Beacon Abbas's open support for terrorism clearly violates new statutes in the Taylor Force Act.
"Abbas is the Grand Wizard of Incitement to violence and terror," he said. "He sets the tone in the Palestinian community calling regularly upon Palestinian youth to pick up arms and murder innocent Israelis and Americans. Abbas fuels the Palestinian culture of death with an evil system of reward payments to terrorists."
"President Trump has repeatedly called upon Abbas to stop inciting to terror and choose life," Avni said. "Tragically, Abbas has responded by insulting the American President, and the American people. It is unethical, immoral and illegal to allow Abbas to set foot on American soil."
Trump should move to prevent Abbas from using "the United Nations General Assembly as a platform to continue his incitement to murder American citizens and as a grandstand to sling opprobrious insults at the President," Avni said.