Netanyahu defends wife against former maid's claims
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visiting Germany, on Monday made an impassioned defence of his wife against a lawsuit filed by her former maid, Reuters reported.
"You don't put the wife and children in the line of fire," Netanyahu told a news conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, when asked about accusations against his wife, Sara Netanyahu, which aides have strongly denied.
"Leave my wife and children alone," Netanyahu added, replying to a question from an Israeli reporter on the case first made public on Friday by Israel's largest news daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
A Tel Aviv labour court confirmed on Sunday that a woman who had worked for Sara Netanyahu, 51, had filed the suit last week against the child psychologist and former El Al flight attendant.
Citing court documents, Yedioth said Lillian Peretz sought compensation for underpayment from Sara Netanyahu. Peretz also alleged Sara Netanyahu had "humiliated" her, occasionally shouting and insisting she change clothes during the working day to meet exacting demands for hygiene in the household.
David Shimron, an attorney for Sara Netanyahu, said on Friday the complaints "bear not a single element of truth".
Netanyahu said further he felt indebted to Sara, his third wife and mother of two teenage sons, for "inspiring me to be more attentive to others".
Israeli analysts do not see the case as having political implications.
Netanyahu earlier visited a museum to the killings of six million Jews in the Nazi Holocaust. Sara Netanyahu's father was a survivor of the Auschwitz death camp.
"It is a very moving moment for me," Netanyahu said of his one-day visit to Berlin with an entourage of five cabinet ministers.
A visit to Germany "sixty-five years after the Holocaust as an Israeli prime minister and as head of a ministerial delegation from the independent Jewish state is an historic moment," he said.
He took the rare step for an Israeli leader of praising Germany's handling of its Nazi past, saying the country "faces without flinching for a second the darkest chapter in its past in order to build a brighter future for its people".