Suit alleges PM's son Yair conducted cleanliness inspections

Ex-staffer says Sara Netanyahu made her use outside bathroom

Ultra-Orthodox woman sues PM’s wife for $64,000; claims she was not allowed to take a day off when her child was ill

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and his wife, Sara, as they enter the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on March 14, 2017. (AFP/Heidi Levine, Pool)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and his wife, Sara, as they enter the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court on March 14, 2017. (AFP/Heidi Levine, Pool)

Another former worker from the prime minister’s housekeeping staff has filed a lawsuit over alleged mistreatment at the hands of Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife.

The woman filed a $64,000 civil suit against Sara Netanyahu, claiming she was abused, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.

The woman, who was not named, was described as a 24-year-old ultra-Orthodox mother of three who worked recently as a cleaner at the residence for just one month.

Among her complaints were not being allowed to take leave when one of her children was sick and being forced to use the bathroom outside the main building, Yedioth said.

Channel 2 TV said she was forced to wash her hands more than 100 times a day and change her clothes up to 10 times a day.

She also claimed that the prime minister’s oldest son Yair Netanyahu would conduct cleanliness inspections.

The prime minister on Facebook called the suit “an extortion attempt” and said it’s the “same system, same lies, the same newspaper and the same lawyer.”

Several former employees have claimed mistreatment.

The Netanyahus deny any wrongdoing, dismissing allegations as a political witch hunt by hostile media.

Sara Netanyahu has long been plagued by allegations of allegedly squabbling with staff and meddling in state affairs.

In the suit, the lawyers said that because the woman was ultra-Orthodox, she does not watch TV or listen to the radio, so she was unaware of the previous allegations surrounding Sara Netanyahu.

Her lawyer, Oren Gross told Channel 2 that the woman had been pressured by political forces to withdraw the complaint.

Last year, a court ruled that Sara Netanyahu abused worker, Menny Naftali and awarded him damages over claims of verbal and emotional abuse at the her hands.

Meni Naftali, the former Prime Minister’s Residence manager, seen during a press conference in Tel Aviv, February 17, 2015. (Photo credit: Flash90)

The court awarded Naftali NIS 170,000 compensation (about $43,000) for the years of mistreatment while working at the Jerusalem mansion, and also ruled he had been misled over his terms of employment at the residence.

Naftali had sued the state, the Netanyahus, and the deputy director of the Prime Minister’s Office for NIS 1 million ($258,000) in 2014.

Accusations by Naftali, as well as by another maintenance worker, Guy Eliyahu, ranged from claims of verbal abuse and what he called irrational demands by Sara Netanyahu regarding the management of the residence to allegations that the prime minister’s wife made him return wine bottles to supermarkets and then pocketed the deposits.

On one occasion, Naftali said, she called him at 3 a.m. to berate him for buying milk in a bag rather than a cartoon. On another occasion, she demanded that a table, freshly laid for a meal outside the residence, be cleared and set afresh because somebody had opened an electric awning above it, sending some dust down.

Mrs. Netanyahu also threw a vase of day-old flowers on the floor, scolding him that they were not fresh enough, he said.

Naftali has also claimed that Sara Netanyahu derided his ethnicity when he ordered food for them in a hotel, implying that his Middle Eastern background was somehow uncouth.

Naftali claimed that Mrs. Netanyahu made him undertake chores at all hours of the day. He accused the Netanyahus of spending money on food and drink ordered from outside the residence, despite the fact that a cook working at the Prime Minister’s Residence is paid for by the state.

The judge wrote in her ruling that “numerous testimonies presented to the court point to an atmosphere of harmful work conditions at the residence due to the behavior of Mrs. Netanyahu and her attitude toward the workers. These included irrational demands, insults, humiliation and outbursts of rage.”

In March, Naftali testified against the Netanyahus, who in turn countered that the suit was born of the former caretaker’s frustration over not having received tenure in the position after working as a temporary caretaker for two years.

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