PM fires minister from cabinet for wearing T-shirt
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu booted Welfare and Labor Minister Haim Katz from the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday for forgoing the customary suit and tie for the more casual attire of a polo shirt.
According to Army Radio, Katz was reprimanded by the prime minister and then asked to leave. He later returned to the meeting wearing a different shirt.
Another, unnamed minister at the meeting said the spat was “somewhat petty, and the cabinet meeting is not supposed to be focused on the ministers’ clothes,” the radio report said.
The report also said tensions between Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (no relation to the welfare minister) appeared to have dissipated after the two traded barbs over railway construction on Shabbat several weeks ago, with the prime minister praising Katz at Sunday’s meeting.
Last month saw a coalition crisis that led Haredi politicians to threaten to topple the coalition if Shabbat work continued on train lines around Tel Aviv. Netanyahu ordered the work stopped over the weekend of September 2, causing massive traffic delays on Sunday as the repair work was bumped to the workday and forcing some 150,000 Israelis to find alternate transportation for their morning commutes.
A High Court of Justice petition later in the week revealed that Netanyahu did not have the legal authority to order the work stoppage, which lies under the purview of Haim Katz. Both Netanyahu and Katz welcomed the court’s ruling, which would push nonessential repairs to weekdays, with Katz vowing to allow any repairs deemed critical to safety to take place on Shabbat. – Times of Israel