Bethlehem Native Christy Anastas Voices Strong Support for Israel’s Security Barrier (VIDEO)
Bethlehem native Christy Anastas, now living in England, spoke out in favor of the Israeli security wall surrounding Judea and Samaria at a recent forum, saying that it has helped stop Arab suicide bombing attempts.
“If you were to ask me a simple question now: ‘If you were the prime minister of Israel, would you put that wall up?’ My answer would be ‘Yes,’ baring in mind that I was one of the people most affected by this wall,” Anastas said in April during a talk at Uppsala University in Sweden. “Because it stopped my people killing themselves and blowing themselves… in the first place, and I care for people, not for concrete.”
During the second Intifada, before the security wall was built, Anastas said Palestinian Arabs would repeatedly attack a Jewish holy site located near her home, throwing rocks, lobbing firebombs and shooting at Israeli civilians throughout the day and night.
Palestinian children, she said, were among the attackers whom Anastas referred to as “the mafia,” adding that the youngsters were “brainwashed into the mentality that fighting for your country is an honor to die.”
“It was really sad to see them killed in front of you,” she said.
Israel began to build the security wall in 2002 after a Netanya suicide attack that took place on Passover, Anastas explained. She recalled coming home from school one day and finding her home surrounded on three sides by the fence. Her house was the only one in the West Bank fenced in as such and every window of her home faced the wall, she said.
As much as she supports the existence of the security wall, Anastas recounted how it has made life difficult for her and her family.
“I have an auntie that lost lots of lands. We lost our businesses, our life got destroyed, having a wall in front of you, in front of your house, an isolated area,” she said. “We have four cameras filming us 24/7. I used to joke with my family members, ‘If you find your video on YouTube [of] you having a shower, know its one of these cameras.'”
Anastas, who is Christian, fled her home in the West Bank due to a lack of human rights and freedom of speech. She studied law in Bethlehem but realized that the freedoms she learned about were not made available by the Palestinian Authority’s legal system.
Following her speech, Christy’s family condemned her position and claimed that she had been pressured into making the comments.
“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 in a statement and claimed that the video was “was a result of direct pressure that Christy is currently experiencing.”
Watchdog group CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, suggested that in fact the family’s rejection of Christy’s comments may have been coerced.
“One has to wonder why so-called ‘human rights’ activists have not expressed any concern over the possibility that Christy’s mother, Claire, has been testifying under duress on behalf of the Palestinian Authority,” the group wrote on its website.
Listen to Anastas’ speech at Uppsala University in the video below: