(JNS.org) American business school student and U.S. army veteran Taylor Force, 29, who was killed in Tuesday’s Palestinian stabbing rampage in Jaffa, "wanted to further his education and explore more of the civilian side of life,” said his father, Stuart Force, in an interview with the Associated Press.
Force served in the U.S. Army from 2009-2014. After taking a year off following his time in the military, he enrolled in Vanderbilt University’s graduate school for business. He was visiting Israel this week on a school-sponsored trip to learn about start-up companies.
“He really fit it all in. He lived really large,” Stuart Force said, expressing pride of his son, who was also an avid skier and guitar player.
“This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world,” said Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who arrived in Israel on the same day Force was killed, and was situated just a mile away from the attack site while stabbing spree was taking place, criticized Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders for not condemning such Palestinian terror against Israelis. Biden's comments came in the wake of Abbas's Fatah faction posting online that the terrorist who carried out the attack was a hero and a "martyr.” The Fatah statement also said that such attacks would continue "so long as Israel does not believe in the two-state solution and ending its occupation."
"The kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop," Biden told reporters on Wednesday.
"We're committed to making sure that Israel can defend itself against all serious threats, maintain its qualitative edge with a quantity sufficient to maintain that," Biden said after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in reference to current U.S. military funding for Israel that amounts to $3 billion annually. The U.S. and Israel are currently negotiating to extend the American military aid package past 2018.