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Premier has no clothes

Naked, squatting Netanyahu statue erected in Tel Aviv

City issues removal order against artwork in Habima Square

A statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Habima square in Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
A statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Habima square in Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

A statue resembling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, depicted squatting naked in a corner, was set up in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square on Wednesday

It was not immediately clear who put the statue in the square, but it was seen as a form of protest against Netanyahu with just a week to go until the national elections.

The gloomy, charcoal-gray statue drew interest from passersby in the city’s centrally located square.

Municipal authorities set up barriers around the installation and posted a removal note on the statue, while police arrived in an attempt to trace those behind it.

People look at a statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Habima square in Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

It was not the first art installation protesting Netanyahu’s rule in Tel Aviv squares.

Last year an artist installed a pop-up exhibit in Rabin Square of a life-sized statue of Netanyahu enjoying a lavish meal by himself at a sprawling table, in a parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.”

In 2018, he erected a statue of Israel’s then-culture minister, Miri Regev, wearing a long white dress and staring into a full-length mirror, also in Habima Square. The depiction was meant to protest Regev’s calls for legislation requiring artists to show “loyalty” to the state.

Before that, he built a golden statue of Netanyahu to mock what he said was the idolatry of many Israelis toward the longtime leader, and placed it in Rabin Square.

An installation depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a mock ‘Last Supper’ by Israeli artist Itay Zalait, is placed at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, July 29, 2020. (Oded Balilty/AP)

In December, a Zalait statue inspired by an iconic photo of a demonstrator against Netanyahu was installed in Rabin Square.

The sculpture, which is based on a picture of a protester holding Israel’s national flag against a stream of liquid shot from a water cannon, was installed with the permission of the Tel Aviv municipality.

The statue was taken down a week earlier from its original location in Jerusalem, near Netanyahu’s residence, where it was apparently erected without a permit.

Israelis will on March 23 vote for the fourth time in two years.

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