CULTURE & ARTS

Artist Who Defecated On Israeli Flag Faces Indictment

If convicted, Natali Cohen Vaxberg could be subject to a year in jail and/or a fine.

A performance artist who defecated on the Israeli flag in a widely seen video will likely be indicted soon, Israeli news outlet Haaretz reported Wednesday.

The daily noted that Israel's Natali Cohen Vaxberg, who has now been arrested five times for similar videos, faces possible charges of defiling a national symbol. 

"They are trying to prevent me from continuing to do my work as an artist, and because they see I continue producing it, they increase their efforts," she told The Huffington Post. "If the state was confident in having the moral superiority it claims it has, art would not have shaken its confidence."

Cohen Vaxberg posted the video in 2014 (watch at the bottom of the story) of her and fellow performance artist Jasmin Wagner pooping on the flag of Israel and several other nations, including France and the United States, all done to music by Frédéric Chopin. 

"She was questioned four times, but continued to do this a fifth time as well," a police source told Haaretz. "It's our right and obligation to stop her and indict her if she's violating the law." Wagner noted in an interview with Vice that only Cohen Vaxberg faces charges: "She was doing the Israel flag, I was doing the Palestinian flag -- but, of course, both of us stand behind every shit. She lives in Israel, though, where freedom of speech is addressed differently than Germany" (where Wagner lives).

If convicted, Cohen Vaxberg could be subject to a year in jail and/or a fine.

According to an earlier report by NBC News, Cohen Vaxberg posted the video in 2014 to protest Israel's treatment of Palestinians after renewed hostilities that summer led to 2,100 Palestinians being killed (along with 72 Israelis). When speaking to Vice, the two artists agreed the intent of the video was "about broad anti-nationalism."

After being detained in one instance for the "Shit instead of blood" project, Cohen declared in a YouTube video, "I'm sorry that my shit isn't blue and white."

The left-wing artist has performed other provocative antics before, once yelling, "I am the Holocaust, the best thing that ever happened to you!" at Yad Vashem, the country's official Holocaust memorial, the Jerusalem Post reported.

View the "Shit instead of blood" video below. Be warned that it features graphic acts of defecation and is, obviously, NSFW.

This article was updated with comments from the artist.

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