The recording of the Israeli Prime Minister’s wife yelling at a family publicist over a piece of news, where the aide ostensibly downplayed her professional qualifications, has surfaced on the Israeli website Walla! News.
The incident happened nearly a decade ago, when the aide published news of her fundraising activities in a column, mentioning how Sara Netanyahu was “obliged” to engage in public service.
“I’m doing it. As a professional, as an ed-u-cated woman. A psy-cho-lo-gist,” Netanyahu can be heard furiously screaming and exclaiming each syllable. “BA, MA,” she yells, referring to her bachelor and master’s degrees.
While the publicist argues that “it says in the first sentence that you’re a psychologist,” she responds abruptly, ordering him to reprimand the editor.
“This prime minister’s wife does public service every day,” she shouts. “In her professional capacity.”
Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to defend his wife on Facebook, claiming that everyone “gets angry and says a few words that he didn’t mean.” He posted several pictures of her, saying that the media had ignored her public activities, including helping Holocaust survivors, children with cancer and bereaved families, for decades.
In October 2017, a 24-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who worked as a cleaner at the official residence in Balfour Street filed a lawsuit against Sara Netanyahu, alleging she had verbally abused her. The legal claim added that she regarded employees as “slaves.”
In March 2015, Menny Naftali, the former caretaker at the Prime Minister’s Residence told a labor court of an “atmosphere of fear among the employees, who were afraid of being victims of minor incidents that would escalate into difficult, rage-filled outbursts, especially after she would drink large amounts of alcohol that I and others would bring to her room daily”. A year later, the court awarded Naftali about $43,735 in compensation for the years of mistreatment.