The Knesset is used to dealing with lines.
There’s the so-called “Green Line,” which demarcates Israel’s 1967 boundary.
There’s the “red line,” which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew against Iranian nuclear enrichment, before Iran began reducing its nuclear stocks under the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration.
And now there are hemlines, which became an issue after a Knesset guard turned away a Knesset member’s aide for wearing an “immodest” length skirt last month. This sparked a protest by 40 female aides and one male sympathizer, who removed his shirt in protest.
This followed the issuing of a dress code that has been updated to ban flip flops in the parliament, and reiterated a ban on “short” skirts.
But as veteran Middle East negotiators know all too well, the devil is in the details when it comes to drawing lines.
How short is too short?
To answer this pressing question, the Knesset now has formed a task force, including female representatives of every political party, to look into the matter.
The taskforce has hired a consultant, Annie Friedman, a fashion professional who has worked for government ministries and the private sector, to help it draw up a policy.
She has said that the Knesset should follow international parliamentary standards.
“This dress code is an international language that deserves respect,” Haaretz reported Friedman as saying. “The skirt’s length should be to the knee or five to six centimeters above it, according to the dress code.”
Sounds sensible enough. But will ultra-Orthodox parties go along with the final consensus — or could this spark a coalition crisis if the result crosses their lines?