Netanyahu family threatens to sue former PM Olmert for slander - report

In a recent interview given to Democrat TV the former prime minister referred to the Netanyahu family as "mentally ill"

Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speak on the plenum floor at the start of the swearing-in ceremony for Netanyahu's new government at parliament in Jerusalem March 31, 2009 (photo credit: DAVID SILVERMAN / REUTERS)
Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speak on the plenum floor at the start of the swearing-in ceremony for Netanyahu's new government at parliament in Jerusalem March 31, 2009
(photo credit: DAVID SILVERMAN / REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's family is demanding NIS 1 million in compensation from former prime minister Ehud Olmert, threatening to sue him for slander after he referred to them as "mentally ill" in an interview, N12 reported Monday. 
Olmert's controversial comment was said during an interview given to Democrat TV last week, in which he heavily criticized the current government and its conduct during the coronavirus pandemic. 
 

"We had NIS 100 billion to hand out as unpaid leave grants ... if we had invested 10% of that in the public health system in the past two or three years, we would be in a completely different situation!" he said. 
He also expressed optimism in establishing a government without Netanyahu, noting that "the Likud is losing its power" and expressing hope that New Hope head Gideon Sa'ar keeps his word and not support any coalition with Netanyahu. 

However, Olmert's positive approach did not extend to Netanyahu himself, expressing some controversial comments about Netanyahu and his family. "What can't be fixed is the mental illness of the prime minister and his wife and son," Olmert said, adding that "under regular circumstances any psychiatrist with a healthy conscience ... would tell you that they need to be hospitalized. They are sick people." 
Attorney Yossi Cohen who represents the Netanyahu family has demanded that Olmert publish a public apology and recant his comments, as well as pay NIS 1 million as compensation to Netanyahu. Olmert was given a week to comply. If he does not, Cohen threatened taking the issue to court and suing Olmert for slander.  
"It is hard to overstate the level of wickedness, maliciousness and despicableness in your comments that include premeditated and serious slander meant to humiliate and scorn my clients, while making them a cause for ridicule and contempt in the eyes of the public and to damage their positions," a letter sent to Olmert by Cohen read. 
"Only a person filled with a blinding hatred that lacks any kind of constraint would be able to make such insults that have nothing to do with reality," the letter further read. 
Olmert has openly criticized Netanyahu and his government in the past few years, going as far as saying that Netanyahu is responsible for destroying Israeli democracy