World Bank: Israeli Gov´t Corruption Among Highest in the West

Israel is second only to Italy with regard to government corruption in the western world, according to a study released Wednesday by the World Bank.

Ezra HaLevi , | updated: 09:08

Business Data Israel’s (BDI) government corruption index showed the Israeli government to be inefficient, with high levels of corruption and a low rate of law enforcement. The study was based on indices examined and confirmed by the Bank of Israel.

The rating received by the Israeli government is particularly poor in comparison with most developed countries. Its rating in terms of political stability is the lowest of any other Western country.

“Israel’s particularly poor ratings for quality of government affect foreign investment in the country,” said BDI general manager Tehila Tamir-Yanay."

"Israel is considered one of the riskiest places in the Western world, with an unstable, inefficient regime, low accountability, a relatively high rate of state corruption and poor law enforcement."

The law enforcement rating gauged the credibility Israel's justice and law enforcement system. Israel’s received a low 74.4%, behind Spain (85%), France (88.9%), the US (92.3%), Germany (93.2%), the UK (93.7%), the Netherlands (95.2%), and the global average for developed countries (90.3%).

The government corruption index rates both perceptions about the government’s use of authority, and the practice of public officials exploiting their positions for personal gain. Israel received a rating of 80.8% on that index - far behind the 91.4% average for developed countries. Italy (74.9%) was the only developed country to rate worse than Israel on that benchmark.

Attorney General Menahem Mazuz responded to the report, saying it was yet another testimony to the "ongoing weakening of the immune system of Israel's political culture."

Mazuz went on to duck allegations that he plays a lead role in looking the other way when faced with corruption in the Sharon regime. "The way to deal with instances of corruption does not begin and end with criminal prosecution of those involved in the crime," Mazuz insisted.