Binyamin and Sarah Netanyahu
Binyamin and Sarah NetanyahuIsrael news photo: Flash 90

New testimonies which emerged Sunday in the lawsuit of Manny Naftali, the former housekeeper of the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sarah, allege that the Prime Minister’s wife verbally abused her employees.

The court has ruled that the trial itself will not start until after the March 17 elections, but has ordered both sides to submit affidavits, the contents of which were made public Sunday. Naftali’s side has submitted the testimonies of two other employees who back his claims against Sarah Netanyahu, who has been the subject of many press assaults over the years.

Guy Eliyahu, who worked as a maintenance man in the home and has filed a separate lawsuit against the Netanyahus, alleges in his affidavit that Sarah Netanyahu would shout at Naftali and humiliate him, and claims that he was the subject of similar abuse.

“For example, Mrs. Netanyahu would ask me to bring her food and when I would get back to her with the requested food, she would accuse me of causing her to put on weight,” says Eliyahu.

He further claims that one time he was called back to the Prime Minister’s Residence after midnight in order to heat up a bowl of soup for Sarah Netanyahu, and "I was scolded by her that I had to come back to the house whenever she wants to eat." In another incident, says Eliyahu, he was called back to the residence after leaving without wishing Mrs. Netanyahu a good night. “She scolded me and said I had to inform her personally when I finished my work and left and wish her a good night," he says.

Eliyahu further claims that Mrs. Netanyahu would have mood swings which “led to severe tantrums, especially after Mrs. Netanyahu drank significant amounts of alcohol.”

Another affidavit came from Emanuel Sela, who worked in the Prime Minister’s Residence from August to December 2013.

"Mrs. Netanyahu demonstrated inappropriate interpersonal relations, in my opinion, towards the employees - shouting, tongue-lashing and constant pressure, including conflicting instructions from the prime minister and his wife,” he says.

"For example, when two speechwriters came to the house to meet with the Prime Minister, I was asked by Mr. Netanyahu to prepare them something to eat. I was alone on duty and was making sandwiches, when his wife called me and asked me to bring a glass of wine to her room. When I said I was busy at the moment preparing sandwiches for the guests, Mrs. Netanyahu shouted that she forbids me to make sandwiches for the speechwriters, because she has a honey cake on the top floor, and all that is needed is to remove the edges and serve it with coffee,” says Sela.

"When I returned to the Prime Minister, he asked if I made the speechwriters food as he requested. Mrs. Netanyahu was present. I told him that I had made sandwiches, but they should decide what I should do. The Prime Minister patted my shoulder and told me to bring the sandwiches into the room. The Prime Minister’s wife stood by him, angry and upset, and from that date forward did everything to humiliate me, and forbade me to be the one who serves her food, unless I was alone at home,” continues Sela.

In a statement responding to the affidavits, the Prime Minister’s Office said that the testimonies are meant “to harm the Prime Minister and his wife during the election period and extort money from the country illegally. This is a scandal. The claim filed with the Labor Court is not against the Prime Minister's wife, and she is not included in the list of defendants. However, Manny Naftali and his collaborators constantly insert the name of Mrs. Netanyahu, and make up lies and distortions - for obvious reasons, and at a timing clearly intended to influence the elections in Israel.”

"We regret that the media cooperates with this evil campaign aimed at shedding the blood of the Prime Minister's wife, and all to hurt the Prime Minister at election time, while taking money from the country illegally,” added the statement, which noted that Naftali’s employment at the Prime Minister’s Residence ended after the safety and emergency director of the Prime Minister’s Office determined that Naftali had behaved inappropriately and had a verbal and physical confrontation with another security guard.

“We are confident that the truth about the dubious versions and motives of Manny Naftali and his collaborators will be heard in court and that justice will prevail.”

Several months ago, as the Israeli press continued to bash Sarah Netanyahu, a man whose son died of cancer spoke up for the Netanyahus, recalling how the Prime Minister’s wife called him after his son passed away and cried.

Even Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon last week spoke up against what she called “the intifada against Sarah Netanyahu”.

"I really do not like the intifada against the wife of the Prime Minister. It has become a national sport to criticize Sarah,” Galon said at an event in Haifa.

“I do not support her, I don’t support him, and I want them removed from power, but I'm not comfortable with the criticism [against Sarah]. The criticism should be leveled at the Prime Minister, not his wife,” she added.