Bethlehem discordBethlehem discord

Christian family pans girl’s pro-Israel video

Christy Anastas says the land is ‘God-given’ to the Jews, claims she was forced to flee because of her views

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A Christian family from Bethlehem distanced itself from a video made by their daughter in which she offers a pro-Israel point of view and blames the Palestinians for the drop in the Christian population.

The Anastas family suggested that their daughter, Christy, had made the video at the demand of unnamed sponsors who offered to pay for her university tuition in Britain, Ma’an news agency reported on Sunday.

In statements made to the local Radio Mawwal station. the Anastas family rejected the notion that their daughter had fled to safety abroad and expressed their surprise at the video, the report said.

“For as long as we know, Christy’s position was always against the wall [Israel’s West Bank security barrier] and the Israeli occupation, which prevented her from living her childhood,” the family said and noted that the video was “was a result of direct pressure that Christy is currently experiencing.”

The video, titled “Christy a Palestinian Christian’s plea to Dr. Saeb Erekat,” was posted to YouTube on Saturday, featuring clips from separate events. In the first, Christy Anastas directs questions at Erekat,  a senior Palestinian negotiator, and the second, longer segment, shows Anastas giving a presentation in which she talks about life as a Christian in Bethlehem.

“I believe God has given this land to the Jews as an everlasting covenant,” Anastas said.

Anastas said that Palestinian children are encouraged to violently confront Israel Defense Forces soldiers in order to die as martyrs, and that incentives included payoffs by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the Palestinian Authority, given to the families of Palestinians that were killed.

“How many Muslim countries do we have in the world?” she said. “Why can’t the Jews have one country?”

Anastas also expressed her support for the security barrier that separates the West Bank from Israel, and described the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six-Day War as “God’s Hand.”

The video was posted by the Emmaus Group, which describes itself on its Facebook page as “a small but growing community of people with a common interest in understanding more about the condition of minority groups in Arab-Islamic countries, especially the Christian and Jew.”

The Anastases said that their daughter had traveled to Britain for university studies a year and half ago, but was no longer enrolled and that her behavior was “incomprehensible and unclear.”

Her family noted that in 2012, she took part in a controversial CBS report that strongly condemned Israel for being responsible for the decline in the Christian community in Israel.

At the time the video prompted then-Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren to complain to CBS that the report was unfair and slanted against Israel.

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