The Shmooze

More Accusations From Sara Netanyahu's Former Employee

By Nathan Burstein

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Another day, another round of embarrassment for the Netanyahu family.

Tara Mela, the Nepalese household worker injured during an argument with Sara Netanyahu, gave a press conference yesterday, in which she alleged further mistreatment by Israel’s first family. A caretaker for Sara Netanyahu’s 96-year-old father, Mela claimed she was fired last night and had not been allowed to enter the Netanyahu residence - where she lived - to collect her things. (She later received them through an intermediary.) Yohanna Lerman, the lawyer representing her, said that preventing Mela from gathering her personal belongings would be a violation of Israeli law.

Mela and her lawyer also claimed she had been denied pay and vacation time, and that Mela’s right to privacy had been violated when the doctor who treated her made public details of her injury.

The accusations further complicate an embarrassing situation for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has already been upbraided by Israel’s attorney general for using staff from his own office to deal with the scandal - a misuse of state resources he rectified by hiring a private representative.

In the press conference, Mela said that Sara Netanyahu and her father had “never complained” about her work. She also repeated her version of the argument with the first lady, saying Sara Netanyahu had lunged at her, causing her to fall and dislocate her finger. The Netanyahus have offered conflicting accounts of what happened.

Through their newly hired spokesman, the Netanyahus called Mela’s claims of overwork a “lie,” saying they represent “another slur against Mrs. Netanyahu.”


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