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Should Politicians Wear Uniforms?

By Tamar Yonah
8/12/2007, 12:00 AM

There is something to say for wearing uniforms.  Though I am an individualist ( I love Ayn Rand's books), uniforms  have their place.  I remember when I was a soldier in the Israeli Army many years ago. I was proud to wear that uniform.  I knew I was protecting the Jewish People in our own homeland, and I was proud to serve.  I know that's old fashioned thinking, but back in the old days, we still had the values of honor, idealism, and service to others.

Tamar, marching in parade in Jerusalem 1980
Tamar Yonah

Enough of memory lane.


As stated, the army has a uniform, this in order to absorb and melt people into one disciplined, fighting unit.
I could write more, speaking about uniforms of the police, sports teams, etc.  But this is not going to be a full length article, rather a simple blog entry of something that I have been playing around with in my mind.
78% of the Israeli public is dissatisfied with Israel's political leadership.


A survey taken this year, says that 78% of the Israeli public is dissatisfied with Israel's political leadership
That's more than three-quarters of the population.

I'd like to see a vast improvement in the way our elected officials serve their terms in office.

I think that our politicians in the Knesset should wear uniforms.  They are doing a dismal job. And perhaps uniforms will remind them that they are working in a job that SHOULD not involve egos, personal ambitions, and the like.

All uniforms should have a label on the front upper part of their shirt pocket.  This label should have their name on it, their postion, and under their name it should have written on it, 'PUBLIC SERVANT'.  I think that our politicians should have this constant reminder of who they are supposed to be serving in their job.  If they have really big egos, and are narcissists , they will look at themselves every time they pass a mirror.  Seeing that label staring back at them may jolt them out of their personal ambitions.  I doubt it, but hey, you gotta try.



Even further, how about we have their uniforms be unique, for the unique public they serve, which is the Jewish people.  This is still considered a Jewish State, and our national anthem contains the lyrics 'eretz yehudi' ( a Jewish land), therefore, I think they should look like Jews.  In order not to take any sides or make statements of a specific sect of Judaism, I suggest that they wear a manner of dress that depicts us Israelis before the Exile when there were no sects of Judaism, - (No Ashkenazi or Sepharadi Jews, No Haredi, Lubavitch, Breslov, etc...- not that there is anything wrong with any of these different expressions and backgrounds of Judaism.  They all have tremendous merits!)
Therefore, I think that these uniforms should be of the time before the Exile, and that would mean 'biblical dress' uniforms.  Long robes and biblical headdress.  This would be beneficial as when they would hold meetings with representatives of the international community, they would feel different, and therefore, would know they could never assimilate and be like everyone else.  The world's representatives would also see a pride in our own leaders, a firm identity, and they too would perhaps lose hope in trying to erase our Judaism from us, and make us conform to world modes and fads.   Perhaps our politicians should also have at any meetings they hold, a sefer Torah (Torah Scroll).  That way, any question as to what Israel should and should not do, would be quickly looked up in the Torah, and this is our REAL constitution, so the final word would be there.  

Do I really think that this uniform idea will take off?  Of course not!  But it's worth a tongue in cheek promotion to you, the public.  Our politicians SHOULD BE SERVING us.  We pay their salaries, perks, and retirement.  The LEAST they can do is serve the public while they are in office and receiving their pay checks.