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(REUTERS/Nir Elias)

'Modesty patrols'

Women of Israeli parliament protest after guards send them home for wearing ‘short’ skirts

By WITW Staff on December 15, 2016

Dozens of female employees arrived in above-the-knee skirts at the Israeli Knesset (parliament) on Wednesday to protest recent attempts by the Knesset guards at enforcing governmental dress code.

The fight over employee skirt length first erupted into public view on Sunday, when Shaked Hasson, an aide to Knesset member Merav Michaeli, was obstructed by Knesset guards for nearly an hour until her boss intervened.

“Yes, yes, no less than five guards stood and visually measured up Shaked’s legs and decided that her attire did not allow her to enter the Knesset to do her job,” wrote Ms. Michaeli in a Facebook post. “Respectful attire yes, but no to modesty patrols.”

In the wake of the incident, other employees came forward to say that guards had begun sending them home to change clothes. During Wednesday’s protest, Knesset member Manuel Trajtenberg demonstrated his support of the protestors by removing his own shirt after his parliamentary assistant was asked to remove her jacket for inspection. “You should all come in burqas, covered up completely,” Trajtenberg shouted sarcastically.

The Knesset spokesman, Yotam Yakir, has described the protest as a “provocation” and asserted that the dress regulations, including an open-ended ban on short skirts, were “not about gender.”

Watch video of Trajtenberg’s outburst below.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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