Menu JTA Search

Netanyahu House in Spotlight After Ejected Nanny Cries Foul

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, dealing with quarreling ministers and striking public employees, had to confront a dispute this week in his own household.

Tanya Shaw, the Netanyahus’ nanny, made headlines this week when she claimed that Sara Netanyahu, wife of the Israeli leader, had fired her because of a pot of burnt soup.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the 21-year-old South African immigrant was fired because she was unstable and prone to violent outbursts.

In an interview with the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, Shaw said she had been playing with the couple’s 5-year-old son, Yair, when Sara Netanyahu called her into the house.

“I knew she was angry about something,” Shaw said. “She would use that tone when she was angry.”

Shaw said Netanyahu screamed at her for burning soup and almost causing a fire.

An argument ensued, during which Netanyahu ordered Shaw out of the house, and called on security service bodyguards to kick her out.

A couple of hours later, she was allowed to go back in to get her belongings.

In interviews with the media, Shaw admitted that she and Netanyahu had clashed before in the six months she worked for the family.

She described Netanyahu as obsessed with cleanliness, making everyone wash their hands before touching the children and refusing to let the children play on the floor.

Shaw said she had not voted in the May 29 elections, in which her boss was elected prime minister, “because when I asked if I could come in late to vote, she said no.”

Shaw’s father was quoted as acknowledging that his daughter “had a big mouth, and would use it,” but he added that “she also knows how to apologize.”

Netanyahu, Israel’s first directly elected prime minister, has been in the spotlight before because of his personal life. In 1993, he went on television to admit that he had cheated on Sara, who is his third wife.

NEXT STORY