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The growing Israeli corruption problem

Israelis view corruption as the price for getting things done, but it’s in all layers of the governance, despite the economic, social and moral consequences.
An Israeli man tastes honey at a store in the town of Kfar Ruth near Tel Aviv on September 10, 2009. In recent years the Israeli taste for honey has been gradually changing -- it is no longer viewed just as a sweetener or a ceremonial condiment, but as a fine food to be explored and savoured, much like a good wine. AFP PHOTO/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)
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Given the series of corruption scandals that have recently captured the headlines in Israel, exemplified in a Supreme Court decision that will send former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to prison for 18 months for bribery, the general feeling is that corruption is seeping ever deeper into state institutions. This is reflected in a survey conducted Jan. 8 for Israeli TV Channel 2 revealing that 72% of respondents believe their elected public officials are corrupt.

International rankings on corruption published in recent years have been far from flattering to Israel in comparison to other Western countries. According to the 2015 corruption perceptions index just released by Transparency International, Israel ranks in the bottom third of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development members — that is 24th out of 34 for corruption.

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