Artist shoves Israeli flag - literally
08 March 2016, 08:22
Jerusalem - Israeli police opened an investigation on Monday into an artist who inserted a national flag into his rectum on stage at a conference that featured a controversial speech by a minister.
Israeli artist Ariel Bronz, angry that the audience booed him during his performance after a speech by Culture Minister Miri Regev on Sunday, threw oranges into the crowd before turning his back and inserting the flag in his rectum.
"Inserting the Israeli flag into one's rectum is not culture," Regev, who filed a complaint, later said in a statement.
"It is a violation of the law. It is proof of contempt for the flag and for all of those - soldiers and civilians - who have been killed in its name in Israel."
It is illegal in Israel to desecrate the national flag.
A police spokesperson confirmed that a complaint had been filed following the "inappropriate use of one of the country's symbols", and that an investigation had begun.
Rightwinger Regev is a controversial member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet.
Cultural figures in Israel accuse her of seeking to muzzle them, including her promotion of a bill that would cut subsidies to cultural institutions deemed not "loyal" to the state.
She was booed when she arrived to speak at the conference organised by left-leaning paper Haaretz in Tel Aviv, with some people in the audience covering their mouths with Band-Aids in protest.
"I was always told to start a speech with a quote because it gives the impression of being cultured, so here's one," she said.
"As the famous Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu once said: 'Cut the bullshit.'"