Israel's Arab Christians Outraged By 'McJesus' Sculpture
Members of Israel's small Arab Christian community are outraged over an art exhibit sculpture called "McJesus" of a crucified Ronald McDonald on the cross, and hundreds demonstrated at the Haifa Museum of Art last week, throwing stones and even a firebomb before being driven away with tear gas and stun grenades.
Christian church representatives went to court on yesterday to demand that the sculpture and other items in that exhibit that they consider offensive, including a Barbie doll version of a bloody Jesus and the Virgin Mary, be removed.
The exhibit, which is meant to criticize its view of society's cult-like worship of capitalism, has been shown in other countries without any problems and had been on display at the Haifa museum for months before the recent outcry, which was apparently set off by visitors sharing photos on social media. The museum has refused to remove the artwork, although Israel's culture minister has called the sculpture "disrespectful" and urged that it be taken down.
"McJesus" was created by a Finnish artist named Jani Leinonen, who has also asked for it to be removed from the Haifa museum, but for a different reason, as a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement aimed at pressuring Israel to change its policies toward the Palestinians.