Sara Netanyahu petitions to reverse court’s Naftali ruling

In February and again in May of 2016, the lower Jerusalem Region Labor Court ruled in favor of Naftali and Eliyahu, respectively, against the state and against Sara Netanyahu’s narrative.

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March 27, 2017 22:51
1 minute read.
Sara Netanyahu

Sara Netanyahu. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Sara Netanyahu on Monday petitioned the High Court of Justice to reverse the NIS 267,500 National Labor Court judgment in favor of two former employees of the Prime Minister’s Residence against her and the Prime Minister’s Office.

On March 9, the National Labor Court declined to let Netanyahu appeal, confirming a lower court’s ruling that only the state had that right, since the civil-damages claim in the case was technically against it.

The first judgment awarded was NIS 170,000 to former house manager Meni Naftali as compensation for unpaid overtime hours and poor treatment received on the job. The second awarded NIS 97,500 to Guy Eliyahu for having been abused while an employee in the Prime Minister’s Residence.

In February and again in May of 2016, the lower Jerusalem Region Labor Court ruled in favor of Naftali and Eliyahu, respectively, against the state and against Sara Netanyahu’s narrative.

Naftali was house manager from February 2011 to November 2012.

Netanyahu argued that Naftali’s case and the lower court ruling contained such significant findings against her character, she should have a right to get them overturned.

In contrast, the National Labor Court ruled that even though she was central to the narrative of the case, it was only in the role of a fact-witness and not as a defendant.

Technically, the three defendants were the Prime Minister’s Office; office official Ezra Seidoff; and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, though ultimately the prime minister played no role in the trial.

In the original trial, Sara testified that “the baseless lies, slander and mudslinging which Mani Naftali told about the wife of the prime minister in court – who is not even a defendant in his case – are scandalous. Nothing less than that.”

In the end, though, the three-person panel – Judge Dita Pruginin, employee representative Natan Mizrahi and employer representative Eliezer Yaari – believed Naftali over Sara Netanyahu almost across the board.

In their decision they wrote of Sara’s attacks on Naftali: “There was no evidentiary basis in what was presented before us, and there was not even a lot of proof to support them.”


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