Netanyahu Toppled: Golden Statue of PM Taken Down by Israelis

The statue of prime minister Netanyahu was taken down after Israelis invited to 'topple Netanyahu' in Rabin Square.

Giant golden statue of Prime Minister Netanyahu toppled hours after being erected. December 6, 2016

A golden statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was toppled Tuesday by Israelis after it appeared in Tel Aviv's main square overnight.

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Netanyahu's golden statue Moti Milrod

A few hours after it had been set up, the gilded effigy was knocked down by citizens who were invited to Rabin Square through social media to try and "topple Netanyahu" themselves.

The statue was placed at the iconic square by Israeli artist Itay Zalait who in recent weeks has flooded news desks across the country with emails announcing that he "will undertake a subversive artistic political act which will garner much media attention." He was ordered to remove the statue.

Tel Aviv city councilwoman Meital Lehavi said that the municipality is contemplating what to do with statue and said she believed that a decision regarding its removal would be reached by the day's end.

A statue of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, created by Israeli artist Itay Zalait as a political protest against Netanyahu, and placed without official permission is seen outside Tel Aviv's city hall, Israel December 6, 2016.
Baz Ratner / Reuters

Yael Dayan, a former city councilwoman, said the statue served as a "big middle finger in all our faces. Like [Netanyahu] is the king of Amona, he is the king of Tel Aviv. It shows Israelis that Tel Aviv too is under Netanyahu's regime." Nonetheless, she said she objected to it being placed without a permit.

"The golden calf – that was my initial association," said a Tel Aviv resident who asked to remain anonymous after allegedly being called a "leftist" while at the square.

Avihu, a 28-year-old from the religious town of Elad, offered a more right wing interpretation, saying the statue was befitting a man of Netanyahu's standing.

"It's cool," he said, "Netanyahu earned it. The people elect him again and again."