Fri, Sep 02, 2011 - Page 6 News List

Netanyahu’s wife in another dispute with domestic staff

Reuters and AFP, JERUSALEM

The cries for help from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife brought her bodyguard running.

“Security, security!” Sara Netanyahu shouted inside the couple’s official residence in Jerusalem.

Lying on the floor, Tara Kumari, the Nepalese woman hired to care for the prime minister’s 96-year-old father-in-law, was “slamming herself against the tiles and furniture in a frenzy” after Sarah Netanyahu accused her of being negligent in looking after him.

So goes the latest chapter in one of Israel’s longest-running political soap operas: alleged confrontations between Sarah Netanyahu and domestic staff since her husband’s first term in the 1990s. She has called those accounts “evil gossip.”

However, this time, the colorful tidbits came straight from the Prime Minister’s Office after the caregiver appeared on Israeli television, saying Sarah Netanyahu was in the habit of “shouting abuse at me and refusing to provide me with the meals or days off to which I was entitled.”

A series of official press releases on Wednesday described in detail the caregiver’s “fits of rage,” conveyed witness accounts of her alleged negligence and defended Sarah Netanyahu against the woman’s accusations that she had been verbally abusive toward her.

The dramatic events won headline play in the Israeli media, but also raised questions about whether the spokesman’s department of the Prime Minister’s Office should have issued statements, under its letterhead, about a domestic matter.

By yesterday, Israel’s attorney general had stepped in, saying the family should hire a private spokesman to deal with the affair, which it did.

The new spokesman’s first announcement? The caregiver has been fired.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top