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Press Release: EMET Strongly Applauds Groundbreaking Taylor Force Act

EMET Strongly Applauds Groundbreaking Taylor Force Act
 Legislation Holds Accountable the Palestinian Authority for Paying Terrorists and their Families
December 4, 2017 (Washington, DC) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised U.S. Representatives Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Tim Scott (R-SC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Richard Burr (R-NC), John Thune (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and John Boozman (R-AR) for reintroducing the Taylor Force Act in February of this year, and leading the effort in Congress to pass this vital legislation.  The legislation will cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it stops paying the salaries of Palestinian terrorists who are imprisoned in Israeli jails, and financially rewarding their families.  The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the bill in August, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved it in November.  The bill will vote on the Taylor Force Act on Tuesday, December 5th.

The bill is named for former U.S. Army officer and Vanderbilt University graduate Taylor Force, an American citizen who served one tour of duty in Iraq and one tour of duty in Afghanistan and came home unscathed, only to be stabbed to death in Israel in March 2016 by a Palestinian terrorist.

The Act conditions aid to the PA until it stops the rewarding of acts of terrorism to Palestinians who have been incentivizing terrorism through their “martyrs’ fund” and “prisoners’ fund.” The Act also calls on the PA to takes steps to end acts of violence against the U.S. and Israeli citizens, including publicly condemning acts of terrorism, and helping to bring Palestinian terrorists to justice.

Congressman Doug Lamborn, the primary sponsor on the House side, has announced, “I am pleased to see the Taylor Force Act come to the House Floor for a vote on Tuesday, December 5.  It is critical that Congress pass this legislation to ensure that U.S. tax dollars do not go to supporting terrorism.”  He continued, “In Taylor’s memory, we must stop sending aid money to an entity that rewards his murderer’s family.  I urge my colleagues to vote ‘yes’ on this bill and hold the Palestinian Authority accountable for financing terrorism.”

Palestinian terrorists that are arrested and imprisoned by Israel are glorified by the PA as heroes and treated as employees of the PA government.  While in prison, these terrorists and their families are paid salaries and receive benefits as rewards for their service.  Since September 2015, 59 innocent people have been killed by Palestinian terrorists in Israel and Judea and Samaria, and more than 800 wounded.  They have been killed or harmed by car rammings, stabbings, shootings, and bombing attacks.  This includes many Americans, including U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force.

Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, 69 innocent Americans, plus two unborn children, have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists.  Yet since 1991, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has refused to prosecute Palestinian terrorists who have killed or wounded Americans in Israel and Judea and Samaria, even though U.S. law gives American prosecutors the necessary tools to seek justice.  For well over two decades, EMET has been fighting for justice for those Americans victims of Palestinian terrorism in Israel and the disputed territories.  EMET has focused on the unwillingness of the DOJ to indict, extradite, and prosecute a single Palestinian terrorist with American blood on his/her hands.

Since 2005, there has been an office within the DOJ – the Office of Justice of Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT) – to pressure the DOJ to prosecute.  EMET’s Sarah Stern was instrumental in the initial creation of the OVT.  This DOJ unit is meant to monitor acts of terrorism against Americans outside the U.S., to assist the living victims and their families, and, most importantly, to pressure the DOJ to bring to justice those terrorists who have harmed Americans anywhere in the world.  Unfortunately, since its establishment, the office has not helped produce a single DOJ prosecution of Palestinian terrorists who have harmed Americans in Israel or Judea or Samaria.  Neither the OVT, nor the DOJ, have ever adequately explained their unwillingness to prosecute these Palestinian terrorists.

In the years since 2005, EMET has doggedly been working to educate Congress about the DOJ and the OVT’s unwillingness to do their job and make sure that any Palestinian terrorist who harms an American is brought to justice.  EMET has held a staff briefing on Capitol Hill, bringing in American victims and family members.  EMET has also met with more than 100 offices to explain to them this issue.  EMET has worked with a bipartisan group of House members, and Senators, to produce numerous letters to the DOJ, demanding prosecutions of these terrorists, and also assisted in finding co-sponsors for these letters.  In 2015, thanks in large part to EMET’s tireless efforts, a Senate Subcommittee led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) held an oversight hearing, primarily focusing on Iranian funded Palestinian terrorism and civil lawsuits.  And in 2016, EMET prompted another hearing by Rep. Ron Desantis (R-FL), the Subcommittee Chairman for the National Security Subcommittee of Oversight and Government Reform, focusing on criminal prosecutions and the OVT.  EMET also assisted the Subcommittee in preparing for the hearing.  At the second hearing, for the first time ever, a DOJ representative, Brad Wiegmann, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, who supervises the OVT and these prosecutions, was called to account for the DOJ’s lack of prosecution.  He was also forced to agree to provide a report to the Subcommittee on DOJ/OVT progress.

For the past two Congresses, EMET also has arduously educated the Congress about the importance of the Taylor Force Act.

EMET Founder and President, Sarah Stern, said, “For far too long, the Palestinian Authority has glorified the virtues of terrorism.  That has been the very core of the problem for why there is no peace with Israel.  A culture of glorification of terrorism has been part of the zeitgeist of the areas under PA control. The more heinous the act of terrorism, the more innocent civilians who have been killed, the greater the salary that has been paid out by the PA to the families of the prisoners of the terrorists.  This is morally unconscionable.”

She continued, “The Palestinians need to understand that there are serious consequences for their moral, political, and material support of terrorism.  I strongly applaud Congressman Doug Lamborn and Senator Lindsey Graham, and all their Congressional allies, for reintroducing and passing the Taylor Force Act, which sends a very strong message to the PA and all would-be terrorists that America will not turn a blind eye towards Palestinian terrorism.  For far too long, people throughout the world have been fooled by the PA’s double message when it comes to terrorism, one to their own people in Arabic, and another in English to foreign diplomats and journalists. Fortunately, there are still Members of the United States Congress who are not willing to allow American tax payers’ dollars be a party to this culture of deification of terrorism.”

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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Press Release: EMET Applauds President Trump for Taking the First Courageous Step in Extricating the U.S. from the Dangerous Iran Nuclear Deal

(Washington, DC, October 16, 2017) EMET applauds President Trump for taking the courageous, critical first step in extricating the United States from the dangerous Iranian nuclear deal that has been bequeathed upon on us by the Obama administration. This deal, also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has been sold to the American public and the international community based on a series of false assurances and sometimes outright fabrications about the nature of the deal, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. EMET strongly believes President Trump did the right thing by reviewing the conditions required by the U.S. Congress in the Iranian Nuclear Review Act of 2015, and then honestly determining which of these conditions have been met. In the end, the President determined that Iran had been in material breach of the JCPOA, and that he (Trump) could not certify that continuing to grant sanction relief to Iran best serves the national security interests of the United States.

By inserting the United States as just one of six nations (the P5 plus 1: the US, Russia, China, France, Great Britain plus Germany), the Obama administration engaged in an attack on our national sovereignty. It made it that much more complicated for the US legislative body to exercise their constitutional responsibility of oversight and review, and if found that Iran has been in violation of that deal, to extricate ourselves from it.

This was further complicated by Obama making an end-run around Congress and going directly to the UN Security Council to enshrine it by a vote (although it has no standing under international law).
Although the US was the essential driver of the deal, it now becomes increasingly difficult to get out of it because America now appears like just one of 6 passengers. This was Obama’s calculation all along.
This is exactly what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they asserted that a treaty had to be ratified by 2/3 of the Senate. That is why members of the US Congress had felt that they needed to play more of their constitutionally mandated role of oversight and review and drafted the Iranian Nuclear Review Act of 2015, known in shorthand as Corker-Cardin.

Contrary to popular belief, President Trump did not de-certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, (JCPOA) or withdraw from the nuclear agreement on Friday. He simply did what he had been legally mandated to do under Corker-Cardin: to certify that the lifting of Iranian sanctions is in the national security interest of the United States.

In contrast to many European leaders, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, an arm of the United Nations which has not actually been on the ground in Iran to monitor the deal since before implementation day, (January of 2016), and has been dependent on Iran to monitor itself, President Trump has told the truth.

“I firmly believe that a foundation built upon wishful thinking, falsehoods and flimsy assurances could not stand. But only serves to empower the most ruthless actors on the world’s stage, as lonely as it is the first step towards a sound and healthy foreign policy that will end up saving the lives of Americans, and those of our friends and allies,” said Sarah Stern, founder and president of EMET.

To read EMET’s fact sheets regarding Iran, and the Iran deal, and Iranian aggression, please click here.

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam.  For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.
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Press Release: EMET Applauds the U.S. Justice Department for Filing Criminal Charges Against Palestinian Terrorist Ahlam Tamimie

EMET Applauds the U.S. Justice Department for Filing Criminal Charges Against Palestinian Terrorist Ahlam Tamimi

The Justice Department also Seeks Extradition of the Terrorist from Jordan

(March 15, 2017, Washington, DC) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to publicly charge Palestinian terrorist Ahlam Tamimi. Ahlam Tamimi planned and implemented a bombing that killed and injured American citizens in a Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem in 2001. This is the first and necessary step in achieving justice for the American victims of her terrorism.

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Press Release: EMET Sends Letter to Senators Urging Them to Confirm David Friedman

EMET Sends Letter to Senators Urging Them to Confirm David Friedman as the U.S. Ambassador to Israel

(Washington, DC, March 8, 2017) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) sent a letter to Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to encourage the Senators to confirm David Friedman as the U.S. ambassador to Israel.

President Trump has nominated David Friedman, a lawyer and ardent supporter of Israel, to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider the nomination tomorrow before it is sent to the entire Senate for a floor vote.

A number of leftist groups, such as J Street, have launched a campaign against Mr. Friedman, arguing that he is not suitable for the position due to his opposition to the two-state solution.

These leftists group do not seem to understand the job that Mr. Friedman has been nominated for. As he has unequivocally acknowledged at his confirmation hearings, he represents President Trump and the United States, and President Trump has already stated that he would like to facilitate a negotiated peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

These groups also ignore the fact that the two-state paradigm has continuously failed, and alternative solutions, which have the potential to improve the lives and security of both Israelis and Palestinians, are more feasible. In 2000, 2001, and 2008, Israel offered major land withdrawals. In 2005, the Israelis actually gave up part of Judea and Samaria, and all of the Gaza strip, but none of this has gotten Israel and the Palestinians any closer to the goalpost of a true peace. On the contrary, each and every time Israel makes territorial concessions the Palestinians launch campaigns of terror against innocent Israelis. This is most clearly illustrated by the thousands of rockets from Gaza.

The real problem is that the Palestinians have refused to stop the incitement to violence and murder. Palestinian culture deifies the “shahid,” or the martyr, e.g., the suicide bomber and knife stabber, and demonizes the Israeli and the Jew. The Palestinian Authority (PA) continues to teach its children to want to hate and kill Jews, and continues to provide convicted terrorists and their families with money for their acts of terrorism.

The refusal of the PA to end its incitement is a violation of the Oslo Process. The Palestinians are also violating Oslo by seeking membership in various international agencies, and by attempting to use international organizations to force Israel to give them land without the Palestinians having to agree to implement a real peace. None of these actions demonstrate that the PA is a positive force for peace.

The EMET letter concludes, “the U.S. should not be wedded to the idea of producing another pro-terror radical state in the Middle East. The fact that David Friedman has recognized this fact should not be a reason to critique him, but rather, should be a reason to confirm him as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel. We urge you to take the above information into account, and to confirm Mr. Friedman’s nomination.”

To read the letter in its entirety, please click here.

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam.  For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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Press Release: EMET Applauds the Taylor Force Act

EMET Strongly Applauds the Taylor Force Act 
Legislation Holds Accountable the Palestinian Authority for Paying Terrorists & their Families

(February 28, 2017 Washington, DC) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised U.S. Senators Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.), Tom Cotton (R-AR), and Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Representatives Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and Doug Lamborn (R-CO) for vowing to reintroduce the Taylor Force Act.  This legislation will cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it stops paying the salaries of Palestinian terrorists who are imprisoned in Israeli jails, and financially rewarding their families.
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Press Release: EMET is Disturbed by the Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic Vote by UNESCO Diminishing any Jewish and Christian Connection to Jerusalem

EMET is deeply disturbed by the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic vote by UNESCO diminishing any Jewish and Christian connection to the Old City of Jerusalem

(October 13, 2016, Washington, D.C.) The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is disturbed by the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic resolution passed by UNESCO declaring that the Jewish people have no connection to the Old City of Jerusalem. On Thursday, October 13th, 2016, the 200th session of the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) met in Paris, France. Where they voted on Item 25 of the provisional agenda under “Occupied Palestine” that disregards the historical and validated Jewish and Christian ties to the Old City of Jerusalem. There were 24 countries that voted in favor of the resolution while 6 voted against and 26 abstained.

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Press Release: EMET Strongly Applauds U.S. Senator Dan Coats’ Legislation That Cuts Off Aid to Palestinian Terrorists and their Families

EMET Strongly Applauds U.S. Senator Dan Coats’ Legislation That Cuts Off Aid to Palestinian Terrorists and their Families

(June 30, 2016, Washington, DC) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) praised U.S. Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) for including a provision into the 2017 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act that will cut U.S. aid to the Palestinians that is equivalent to the amount expended by the Palestinian Authority (PA), or the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and any successor or affiliated organizations toward the salaries of terrorists and/or their families.

On Tuesday, the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs subcommittee passed the legislation, and the full committee passed the legislation Wednesday, June 29th, 2016. The legislation states that U.S. aid toward the PA will be cut “by an amount the Secretary [of State] determines is equivalent to the amount expended by the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization and any successor or affiliated organizations, as payments for acts of terrorism by individuals who are imprisoned after being fairly tried and convicted for acts of terrorism and by individuals who died committing acts of terrorism during the previous calendar year.”

Palestinian terrorists that are arrested and imprisoned by Israel are glorified by the PA as heroes and treated as employees of the PA government. While in prison, these terrorists and their families are paid salaries and receive benefits as rewards for their service. Since 2014, there have been at least 45 terrorist attacks in Israel that killed 86 people, including U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in March.

Says EMET Founder and President, Sarah Stern, “For far too long, the Palestinian Authority has deified and extolled the virtues of terrorism. That has been the very core of the problem for why there is no peace. A culture of glorification of terrorism has been part of the zeitgeist of the areas under PA control. The more heinous the act of terrorism, the more innocent civilians who have been killed, the greater the salary that has been paid out by the PA to the families of the prisoners of the terrorists. This is simply morally unconscionable.”

In 2014 Senator Coats co-sponsored legislation that was signed into law that called for the reduction of budgetary support for the PA “by an amount…expended by the Palestinian Authority as payments for acts of terrorism…” In order to avoid any foreign aid cuts, that same year PA President Mahmoud Abbas issued a presidential decree that moved the payment system for terrorists from the PA to the PLO. Senator Coats’ new provision will ensure that the PA does not move the payment system to another subsidiary to avoid a reduction in U.S. aid.

“Payments that reward and encourage terrorism must stop,” said Senator Coats. “I am glad the subcommittee included this morally imperative provision in the bill. These payments by the PLO under Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas provide rewards and motivations for brutal terrorists, plain and simple. To provide U.S. taxpayer money to Abbas and his government so that they can treat terrorists as heroes or glorious martyrs is morally unacceptable. It ends with this legislation,” the Senator added.

Sarah Stern, the founder and president of EMET, said: “The Palestinians need to understand that there are serious consequences for their moral, political, and material support of terrorism. I strongly applaud Senator Coats for his provision, which sends a very strong message to the PA and all would-be terrorists that America will not turn a blind eye towards Palestinian terrorism. For far too long, people throughout the world have been fooled by the PA’s double message when it comes to terrorism, one to their own people in Arabic, and another in English to foreign diplomats and journalists. Fortunately, there are still members of the United States Senate, such as Dan Coats, who are not willing to allow American tax payers’ dollars be a party to this culture of deification of terrorism.”

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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Press Release: Pro-Israel Coalition Calls on Hillel International to End Partnership with “Breaking the Silence”

Pro-Israel Coalition Calls on Hillel International to End Partnership with “Breaking the Silence”

(Washington, DC March 28, 2016) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) announced that it sent a letter to Eric D. Fingerhut, President of Hillel International, signed by a coalition of pro-Israel organizations who are “deeply concerned” with Hillel’s hosting of Breaking the Silence (BtS). “Breaking the Silence” is an Israeli NGO that features former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers that “have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories,” according to the organization’s website.

BtS hosts biased speaking tours in both Europe and the U.S. of former IDF soldiers that accuse Israel of committing “war crimes,” thereby serving as a mouthpiece for Israel’s enemies and detractors. Hillel International, the largest Jewish student group in the U.S., has hosted Bts on university campuses during past years. Hillel plans to host BtS at Columbia University on Thursday, March 31st, and already hosted BtS this month at Brown University on March 17th.

The EMET letter, sent on March 25, 2016, states, “By enabling the one-sided view of ‘Breaking the Silence’ to be heard on America’s college campuses, Hillel is contributing to an attitude that might well prove to weaken the morale of the IDF and therefore the existence of the State of Israel.”

Hillel is violating its own Standards of Partnership by hosting BtS, according to the letter. Hillel’s Standards read, in part, that it “will not partner with, house or host organizations, groups or speakers that as a matter of policy or practice: Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders; Delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to Israel; Support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel…”

BtS “seeks to portray a distorted, demonized view of the Israeli Defense Forces” and “supports the BDS movement,” according to the letter. Among others, the letter quotes Natan Sharanksy, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and a former refusenik, who said BtS “’is not a human rights organization but a BDS organization.’” Sharansky also wrote in a recent op-ed in Haaretz: “Breaking the Silence…is not a human-rights organization in any meaningful sense of the term … [It uses] unproven allegations peddled as truths to credulous foreigners in order to override the decisions of a democratic government.”

The letter calls on Mr. Fingerhut to “not allow ‘Breaking the Silence’ to participate in forums at Hillel Houses across the nation.” The signatories encourage Mr. Fingerhut “to instead partner with the Embassy of Israel and the IDF to provide appropriate forums with credentialed spokesmen.”

Sarah Stern, the founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), who spearheaded the letter said, “I am deeply dismayed that an organization that is supposed to serve as a home for our Jewish students on campuses and educate them about the beauty of their heritage and homeland is partnering with an organization that seeks to demonize and defame the IDF – the very backbone of the existence of the State of Israel.” Stern added, “By hosting ‘Breaking the Silence’ Hillel is providing the organization with a stamp of legitimacy, and contributing to the spread of anti-Zionist sentiments at our nation’s college campuses, which are already infested with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activities.”

In addition to EMET, heads of the following organizations also signed onto the letter: the Middle East Forum; American Jewish International Relations Institute; Americans for a Safe Israel; the Center for Security Policy; Proclaiming Justice to the Nations; ACT for America; Arabs for Israel; Scholars for Peace in the Middle East; Z Street; Americans for Peace and Tolerance; The Iron Dome Alliance; and Christians’ Israel Public Action Campaign.

About The Endowment for Middle East Truth

Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.

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Press Release: EMET Thanks Rep. Ron DeSantis for Holding a Groundbreaking Hearing on Seeking Justice for American Victims of Palestinian Terrorism

EMET Thanks Congressman Ron DeSantis for Holding a Groundbreaking Hearing on Seeking Justice for American Victims of Palestinian Terrorism

(February 4, 2016, Washington, DC) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) expressed its deep appreciation to Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), the Chairman of the National Security Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, for holding an oversight hearing on the failure of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OJVOT) to pursue justice for American victims of Palestinian terrorism killed in Israel or the disputed territories.  The hearing was called “Seeking Justice for Victims of Palestinian Terrorism in Israel” and was held on February 2nd, 2016. EMET originally brought this critical issue to the attention of Rep. DeSantis, and assisted the Subcommittee in providing background information and finding witnesses for the hearing.

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Press Release: EMET Thanks Rep. Ron DeSantis for His Courageous Hearing on Seeking Justice for American Victims of Palestinian Terrorism

EMET Thanks Congressman Ron DeSantis for His Courageous Hearing on Seeking Justice for American Victims of Palestinian Terrorism

(January 27 2016, Washington, DC) Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) expressed its strong thanks to Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) for his upcoming hearing on seeking justice for American victims of Palestinian terrorism in Israel and the disputed territories. EMET itself has had a long history of pursuing justice for American victims of Palestinian terrorism, and originally brought this issue to Rep. DeSantis’ attention.

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