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News > World

Israel: Flag Art Installation in Tel Aviv Shows Country's 'Tilted State', Sparks Controversy

  • Flag, Itai Zlait's installation piece.

    Flag, Itai Zlait's installation piece. | Photo: Motti Kimchi

Published 6 March 2018

The new art piece by sculptor Itai Zlait aims to show Israel’s current state of decline.

The installation of a tilted Israeli flag in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square has sparked controversy. “Flag,” a new piece of work by sculptor Itai Zlait aims to show Israel’s current state “between order and disorder, prosperity and austerity, democracy and tyranny.”

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"When a flag stands, it signifies a proper state and conduct, but the flag behind me is in an interim state, in between, in a tilted state—and this is the situation of Israel in 2018," Zlait told Ynet.

As Israel enters the 51st year of its illegal occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights, the country prepares to deport tens of thousand Eritrean and South Sudanese asylum seekers, and its prime minister is close to being indicted on corruption charges.  

The flag, which stands about to fall, is not Zlait’s first controversial installation.

In 2016, he erected a golden statue of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu under the name of “King Bibi,” in reference to Netanyahu's popular nickname.

According to Miri Regev, the Likud Party's Culture and Sports Minister and a former Brigadier-general in the Israel Defense Forces, “The flag is only falling according to certain parts of society that are not prepared to accept the decision of the voters. And this is a cheap and outrageous political provocation of left-wing circles for which the existence of a right-wing government is a day of mourning.”

Regev, who has been accused of censorship, is a controversial figure herself. Last year, she decided to freeze state funding for Arab-Israeli theater Al-Midan in Haifa, a city that retains a large Palestinian population.

She has also attacked award-winning Israeli film Foxtrot because the movie shows Israeli occupation soldiers covering up the shooting of four Palestinians, and was filmed laughing as fans of Beitar Jerusalem, a notoriously anti-Arab Israeli football team chanted “may your village be burned!”

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