Minister shamed out of Israeli cabinet meeting for dressing too casually

Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz and his polo shirt apparently crossed the line at the Knesset.

September 18, 2016 15:44
1 minute read.
Haim Katz


Even casual, informally dressed Israel has its limits.

At least that is what Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz found out when he showed up at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday morning, sporting a striped, multi-colored polo shirt.

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“Haim, that’s not respectful,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said when he saw Katz’s decidedly informal attire. Netanyahu regularly wears a suit and tie in public appearances.

Katz took the hint, and went to his office – located not far from the Prime Minister’s Office – and changed into a button-down shirt. He then returned to the meeting.

This is not the first time that a dress code has been enforced in Israeli cabinet meetings. According to a report on Army Radio, Oved Yehezkel – who was cabinet secretary under Ehud Olmert from 2007-2009 – would not let ministers enter the weekly cabinet meetings without a jacket and tie.

Likewise, there have been efforts over the years to enforce a dress code in the Knesset as well.

In 2007, Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik barred entrance to anyone wearing unbecoming attire, such as sleeveless T-shirts, short pants, jeans and, for women, short T-shirts that expose the midriff. However, current President Reuven Rivlin, when he was speaker of the Knesset in 2009, reversed the jeans ban.

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