|SARA NETANYAHU meets with four-year-old Ofek Castillo311.(Photo by: Avi Ohayon/GPO)|
Trial in case against Sara Netanyahu kicks off
By JOANNA PARASZCZUK
Lillian Peretz claims PM's wife paid her less than minimum wage, abused her; Netanyahu countersuing for defamation.
Under cross-examination in the Haifa District Labor Court on Monday, Sara
Netanyahu’s former housekeeper Lillian Peretz said the prime minister’s wife had
“high standards” and had required her to work long hours including on
Peretz, who filed the lawsuit against the prime minister’s
wife two years ago, has claimed Netanyahu refused to pay her various social
benefits required under law, paid her less than minimum wage, and made her work
long hours including on Saturdays, even though Peretz is
Netanyahu has denied the allegations, and says they
are slander. In response to Peretz’s lawsuit, the prime minister’s wife has
filed a counter-suit, demanding that Peretz pay her NIS 600,000 compensation for
defamation, invasion of privacy and breach of confidentiality.
cross-examination by Netanyahu’s lawyer David Shomron on Monday, Peretz said she
had worked on Saturdays.
The former housekeeper said the Netanyahus would
come to the house in Caesarea every Saturday but on two occasions they decided
not to come and instead had asked her to pack food for them to be driven to
Peretz said that she loved Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
and his children and broke Shabbat for them.
“I worked every Saturday,
including on those Saturdays that [the Netanyahus] decided to stay until
Sunday,” she said.
Shomron asked Peretz whether she was in fact asked to
work on Saturday evenings after sunset, after Shabbat had ended, and only for
around an hour and a half to package up food for the next day.
response, Peretz said there was only one Saturday that she told Netanyahu she
could not work, because she had a conflict with her husband and could not leave
her children that day.
Netanyahu’s former housekeeper said the prime
minister’s wife had “high standards” that were hard to meet.
could meet her standards,” Peretz said.
“When she was on holiday and I
was in the supermarket, they would tell me to come and meet people who were
supposed to come to the house, like technicians, I had to change my clothes all
Peretz added that there were frequently building contractors
in the house and that she was “always busy wrapping stuff in
The former housekeeper also told the court that Netanyahu asked
her to cook at her own house.
“When I don’t cook at her house, the
Picasso doesn’t smell the frying, but at my house my Baba Sali smells it,”
Peretz said, presumably referring to and comparing pictures by the famous
Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and of the Moroccan Sephardi rabbi and Kabbala
practitioner, Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, popularly known as the Baba
The former housekeeper also said she had to ask the Netanyahus for
permission to go on vacation.
When asked why she did not quit her job, if
the conditions were as bad as she claimed, Peretz said that she was pressured
not to leave.
Peretz also claimed that the family’s lawyer, attorney
Michael Rabello, also convinced her not to leave.
chief of staff, Natan Eshel, also testified at Monday’s hearing, and said the
Netanyahus had only stayed in Caesarea at most one Saturday per
The lawsuit will continue on July 17.