Activist to be indicted for defecating on Israeli flag

Controversial artist Natali Cohen Vaxberg could face jail time for defiling national symbol

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Controversial actress Natali Cohen Vaxberg (YouTube)
Controversial actress Natali Cohen Vaxberg (YouTube)

Controversial Israeli performance artist Natali Cohen Vaxberg is reportedly set to be charged over a video she filmed of herself defecating on the Israeli flag two years ago.

Cohen Vaxberg, an actress and far-left activist, has been arrested and investigated by police for defiling a national symbol a number of times since first uploading the video online in 2014, but never charged.

Sources close to the case said Cohen Vaxberg will soon be charged with five counts of desecrating the flag, Haaretz reported.

According to the report, Deputy State Prosecutor Amit Aisman is working with the police on preparing the charge sheet.

The video, entitled “Shit Instead of Blood,” features her in a bathroom squatting over — and defecating on — various national flags from the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas, including those of Israel and the Palestinians. The video is overlaid with music by classical composer Frederic Chopin.

Cohen Vaxberg is no stranger to controversy, and has sparked anger with a number of videos uploaded in the past.

Among other things, in her films she has compared IDF soldiers to Nazis and maintained that the Holocaust was “the best thing to have ever happened to the Jews,” since it allowed them to “occupy Palestinian land uninterrupted.”

After her last arrest in 2015, a spokeswoman for the Tel Aviv District of the Israel Police said that while Israel was deeply committed to upholding the right to free speech, Vaxberg’s contentious act deeply insulted the public and directly clashed with other values deemed highly important to the Israeli people.

Police said that each of her arrests stemmed from civilian complaints filed against her in different police stations around the country.

Under Israel’s 1949 Flag, Emblem and National Anthem Law, desecrating the flag could result in a one-year jail term.

Vaxberg has repeatedly defended her actions, saying that her videos are works of art.

AFP contributed to this report.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed