A pro-Israel activist says it's not surprising that Vice President Mike Pence will be snubbed by Palestinian leaders when he travels to Israel next week.
In an scheduled address to the Knesset , the Vice President is expected to deliver a strong message that America "stands with Israel" under President Donald Trump.
His visit also comes on the heels of last week's historic announcement by Trump that the United States is officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
However, angry Palestinian officials say that they do not want to meet with the Vice President because of his active role in Trump's decision on Jerusalem.
Laurie Cardoza-Moore, founder and president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, says she is not surprised at the Arab reaction.
A "seismic shift" has occurred thanks to Trump's announcement, says the pro-Israel activist, upsetting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and his Christian allies among Arab Christians.
"I'm not surprised," she says, "that they're shunning Vice President Pence."
But it is important for the Vice President to press forward with his work in Israel, says Cardoza-Moore, who hopes Pence will solidify the U.S. commitment to its Middle East ally, Israel.
Pence will also visit Egypt where he will discuss the issue of the persecution of Christian and religious minorities throughout the wider Arab world.
Renewed hope among Iraqi Christians
The founder of an organization that ministers to persecuted Christians in Iraq is hopeful the vice president's trip to the Middle East will shine a light on the challenges facing persecuted Christians.
Escaping religious persecution in Iran in 1989, Juliana Taimoorazy is now president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council, a group providing displaced Christian families in the Middle East with food, shelter, and medicine. She hopes the visit by Mike Pence will bring attention back to the destruction that was caused by ISIS.
"Unfortunately ... our attention span [here in the West] is very short and we're after sensational news," she shares with OneNewsNow. "So a lot of this information, a lot of this cause – or awareness of this cause – has been dropped because there aren't any beheadings happening, there aren't any churches being burned down, and yet the suffering still continues.
"So this is a very important trip that he's taking for us Middle Eastern Christians, especially Iraqi Christians."
Taimoorazy, who is also senior fellow for Philos Project, adds that Mr. Pence's trip is much-anticipated because she is hopeful that the vice president will see first-hand the harsh conditions. She explains that young people cannot attend school, men cannot find work, and families are living in shipping containers because homes have been destroyed.
Editor's note: Comments from Juliana Taimoorazy added after story was originally posted.
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