Pro-Israel Arab Christian Condemned By Family

Christy fled Bethlehem to UK and showed support for Israel in video, now her family denounces her amid possible intimidation.

Ari Yashar ,

Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity
Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity
Flash 90

The Bethlehem-based family of Christy Anastas, who says she was forced to flee to the UK following persecution over her sympathy to Israel, has "rejected and distanced" itself from her recent video showing support for the Jewish state, according to Arabic media reports which cannot be independently verified.

According to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency, the Anastas family denied that Christy had fled from Bethlehem, claiming instead she was under "entrapment" by a British church official who offered to pay her tuition and board to attend a British university a year and a half ago.

The timing would work out to be soon after April 2012, when Christy was interviewed on CBS's "60 Minutes" in a show that presented a very unbalanced picture of the situation of Arab Christians in Israel, highlighting the security barrier around the Anastas home which defends Rachel's Tomb from constant attacks.

Christy told Honest Reporting in 2013 that she was misrepresented in the program through selective editing, grossly misrepresenting her views on the security barrier and the situation of Arab Christians in Bethlehem.

Her family now maintains that Christy is currently under pressure to support Israel by the British church official, further claiming that she was no longer enrolled in university.

As part of the claims that Christy is somehow being controlled, a self-styled "peace and justice" activist reportedly called British police, telling them Christy may be a "missing person." In response, CAMERA reports that Christy decided to present herself for inspection at a police station in England on Tuesday.

"God has given this land to the Jews"

In the video which reportedly caused her family to publicly denounce her, Christy states that "G-d has given this land to the Jews as an everlasting covenant," that Israel was justified in putting up the security barrier, and that the Six Day War was "G-d's hand."

Christy further argued that following the outbreak of the terror war in 2000, terrorists forced Arab Christians to pay a "jizya tax" which is levied on non-Muslims, and fired missiles from next to Christian homes "so that the response would come on Christian homes."

The Anastas family reportedly expressed shock at the statements, saying "Christy's position was always against the wall and the Israeli occupation, which prevented her from living her childhood." They argued Christy was being "exploited" by Israel to evict them from their house.

Pressure to make statements - on Christy, or on her family?

Given the reported vocal protestations by the family, it is worth noting Christy's statements made at the beginning of the YouTube video presenting her views in late April.

Christy noted that since giving a lecture at a university in Sweden which was published on YouTube, "my family has been going through lots of pressure, intimidation and threats."

Addressing PA Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat, who she spoke to in an Al Jazeera interview, she added "I don't know by whom, but I'd like to ask you Dr. Saeb."

Christy called on Erekat to protect her family members from the threats and pressure.