Netanyahu blames political enemies for story on wife

Kadima officials: Prime minister is paranoid.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's political foes were behind Friday's story in Yediot Aharonot about a lawsuit that his family's former housekeeper filed against his wife, Sara, sources close to Netanyahu said on Sunday.
Thestory about Lillian Peretz's NIS 374,359 lawsuit in the Tel Aviv LaborCourt embarrassed the prime minister and put Sara back in thespotlight, where she often was during Netanyahu's first term in office.
Netanyahu's associates pointed fingers at unnamed people who want to bring down the prime minister.
"SaraNetanyahu became a victim of political and economic interests whoallowed target practice on her and will try again to find formeremployees and fake stories to hurt her," a source very close toNetanyahu said. "The story is so delusional and crazy that we mustconsider who could be behind it. There are people who have an interestin such reports for political reasons, to hurt the prime minister."
TheNetanyahus' lawyer, David Shimron, and former Likud strategist RonnieRimon, also made such accusations in multiple interviews. Rimon saidthat people who failed to find anything that could damage Netanyahutargeted his wife out of desperation.
"I thought that whathappened before, when certain sectors of the population didn't acceptNetanyahu, wouldn't happen again," Rimon said. "If people have aproblem with the prime minister, they should criticize the primeminister."
Kadima officials responded that "Netanyahu and hispeople should face the real problems the story revealed and not dealwith minutia about how the story got out. Where there is smoke, thereis fire and where there is Bibi there is paranoia."
Netanyahu's associates also blamed the story on the ongoing battle between Yediot and Yisrael Hayom, the free daily that favors the prime minister.
Peretztold reporters outside her home in Hadera that she stands by heraccusations. She denied that she had any connection to Kadima or anyother political foe of the prime minister.
"The truth will come to light," she promised. "Nothing political is behind this."
Channel2 reported on Sunday night that the Netanyahus did not pay Peretz forher transportation costs to their home in Caesarea from her's inHadera. They also did not pay her for working on Shabbat.
Peretz told Yediot thather relationship with Sara involved constant humiliation and an overallhostile atmosphere. According to the paper's report on the lawsuit,Netanyahu expected Lillian to be on call 24 hours a day, and once evenphoned her at 2 a.m. to reprimand her for failing to properly cover apillow.
She also charged that Sara forced her other employees tocall her "Mrs. Sara Netanyahu" and would often boast that she had abeautiful home, telling her housekeeping staff how lucky they were tobe working for the Netanyahu family and saying she was the "mother ofthe State of Israel."
Sara Netanyahu's former assistant NaomiEgoose told Channel 2 that she endured similar abuse from her 12 yearsago and she was still traumatized by it.
"I had hoped that 12years would do something for Sara Netanyahu, but when I read thearticle, I saw that she hadn't changed," Egoose said.
"If shescreamed at me six times a day and at Netanyahu's media adviser sixtimes a day, she must scream at the prime minister at least once a day.I have nothing against the prime minister. I just believe he has to puther in her place."