A Yerushalayim court on Sunday ordered the municipality to release records of work done in its employ by Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in response to a journalist’s request under the freedom of information law.
The Netanyahus have fought the request from veteran political reporter Ben Caspit as harassment and an invasion of privacy.
Judge Arnon Garel ruled the city must furnish details about Sara’s work within 30 days. The details sought concerned the definition of her work, the total number of hours she worked over the year before the information was requested, and any interruptions in her work schedule that exceeded 30 days.
Caspit asked for the information in December 2016, citing public interest and saying that her commitments as the prime minister’s wife could affect her work for the municipality.
Associates of the Netanyahus were quoted as saying on Sunday that “the court has rejected most of Caspit’s false, inflammatory and bothersome requests…the prime minister’s wife also has a right to privacy in her professional employment as an educational children’s psychologist.”
Garel agreed that the public has a right to know about her work; but not everything. He ruled that the city, which has until now refused to comply with Caspit’s request, does not have to divulge her salary, place of employment, or complaints about her. The judge said he tried to find a balance between the public’s right to know and the legitimate right to privacy.
“We should not ignore the fact that this is not an ordinary worker, but rather a familiar public figure, and therefore a balanced position is at a place that requires providing partial information.”
The municipality said it would obey the court order. It was also ordered to pay 7,500 shekels in expenses to Caspit and his attorney.