A controversy has broken out in Israel after a poster showing a naked Benjamin Netanyahu with a noose around his private parts has emerged from an art school in Jerusalem. Law enforcement agencies have ordered an investigation into the matter amid calls for shutting down the school.
The unsigned sketch surfaced amid an ongoing storm over free speech at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. The Israeli premier is shown wearing nothing but a golden crown on his head.
A local report said Netanyahu's genitals were "significantly miniaturised" in the drawing and a handwritten phrase on the artwork read: "Is it okay this way, attorney-general?"
Another word, "Rope", was written at the bottom of the poster in a symbolic play on the word "Hope", from US President Barack Obama's campaign posters, according to the report.
The school's administration has taken the artwork down. The controversial poster was in response to a police crackdown earlier following the exhibition of an artwork depicting a hangman's noose over Netanyahu. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit had ordered an enquiry into the matter over possible incitement at the art facility against Netanyahu.
The youth wing of Netanyahu's Likud party has demanded that the art school be shut down, saying that an academic institution that provides "backing to such a low and perverse incitement has no right to exist".
Michal Turgeman, a spokesperson for the Bezalel school, was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying: "Students at Bezalel, as are artists around the world, feel very passionately about their work. The events at our academy over the past few days have touched on the passion of many of our students. The peaceful bipartisan demonstration that our students held today was against the potential threat to their freedom of speech.
"As an institute of higher education, we have a responsibility to not only teach our students to maintain their right to self-expression, but to also balance that with responsibility toward the power of their work. Striking that balance is always tricky, but something that students, their teachers, and our institution must continue to strive for."