Sara Netanyahu's fashion faux-pas sparks criticism


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara has caused a media storm by wearing a see-through lacy black dress at the swearing-in ceremony of the new lawmakers with critics rebuking her taste as "cheap and immodest".

54-year-old Sara turned up at the 19th Knesset (parliament) opening ceremony in a tight black see-through lace dress, much to the disapproval of media.

Uriel Heilman of the JTA news agency compared her outfit to something worn by Beyonce, and made fun of her by saying, "Sara Netanyahu is no Michelle Obama".

"The outfit Sara chose for Tuesday's inauguration of the 19th Knesset was a form-fitting, lacy number with a transparent top. Except for a black band covering her bust, everything north of the waist was on full display. Who does she think she is, Beyonce at the Super Bowl?" Heilman wrote.

A fashion critic on Channel 10's "Erev Tov" programme dubbed the outfit "cheap and inappropriate". Ultra-orthodox newspapers were unequivocal in slamming it as "immodest".

However, a woman parliamentarian from Netanyahu's Likud party Limor Livnat rushed to her defence condemning the Israeli media for its "chauvinistic discourse".

"There's something very sad in the fact that, on a day when a record number of 27 talented women, many of them feminists, were sworn in to the Knesset, specifically on this day, there are those who choose to lash out at this woman in such a superficial and shallow way," Livnat was quoted as saying.

Her defence also came from an unexpected quarter in the form of Aryeh Deri, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, who said his religious sensibilities had not been offended by the sight of Sara's belly.

In a message on his Facebook page, Deri also rapped what he termed "repulsive and mean-spirited preoccupation with the Prime Minister's wife's outfit".

"Such an honourable occasion cannot be pushed aside in favour for such activity... Public representatives' families should be kept outside the political game," he added.

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