Ex-PM employee: I was woken up in the middle of the night to heat a bowl of soup

Former employee of the Prime Minister's Residence claiming he was humiliated by Sara Netanyahu and not paid overtime wages.

April 9, 2014 11:20
1 minute read.
Binyamin and Sara Netanyahu in Ottawa May 30, 2010

Binyamin and Sara Netanyahu in Ottawa 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Blair Gable)


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For the second time in only a few weeks, a former employee of the Prime Minister's Residence is filing a lawsuit against them. Gil Eliyahu said he was subject to humiliating treatment by Sara Netanyahu, wife of the prime minister, while working as the house manager's assistant. Eliyahu stopped working at the residence two-and-a-half years ago.

According to Channel 10, in the lawsuit that will soon be served to the Prime Minister's Office and operations manager Ezra Saidoff, Eliyahu makes claims of "humiliation, failure to pay overtime wages and inappropriate workplace atmosphere."

In the lawsuit, Eliyahu focuses on two main incidents. He claims that in separate incidents, he was woken up in the middle of the night and ordered to come back to the prime minister's residence to heat up a bowl of soup for Netanyahu or to wish her good night.

The lawsuit elaborates on the claim of an "especially traumatic" incident in which Eliyahu was accused of dirtying an outdoor table, whereupon Sara Netanyahu broke out screaming. "She picked up the tablecloth and everything on it, including dishes and utensils. In the process, dishes fell on the ground. He claims Netanyahu then demanded that it be set again like new."

Eliayhu also says that Netanyahu would make fun of him in front of other employees and said he wasn't "elegant enough."

A source close to Netanyahu responded by saying that this is part of an organized campaign to recruit disgruntled former employees. "They are promised their 15 minutes of fame and the ability to get good conditions from the Prime Minister's Office."

The accusations come on the heels of a similar lawsuit by Eliyahu's former superior, house manager Manny Naftali. The former chief overseer of the Prime Minister’s Residence filed suit March 19 in Jerusalem Labor Court against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara for alleged labor misconduct. 

Herb Keinon contributed to this article.

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