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Is Israel as corrupt as it seems?
Shiri Hadar
Published: 10.07.12, 23:48
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25 Talkbacks for this article
1. Misleading & false reports don't help.Last night on the ABC
in Australia known for its leftist leanings reported that Olmert was convicted . That might help their progressive internationalist agenda but it does nothing for factual reporting.
2. Shain is corrct."Corrupt Politician" is common belief @ US .
Michael ,   California, USA   (07.11.12)
3. Corrupt as it seems?
In Israel there is not only a perception of corruption, there is a perception that law enforcement is not fighting corruption. The conviction of a former president on rape charges was a step forward for the law enforcement officials. The first conviction of a former prime minister was also a step forward. Remember that, even though Olmert was acquitted on some charges, there was a conviction here. There are other charges remaining. The fact that there was a conviction, is a strong message. The fact that Olmert was the first former PM to be convicted of a crime, even a minor one, is a blot on his record. There is a signal from the courts to public officials that public officials have some leeway and are not above the law. Beofre drawing real judgements or spinning the results, let's wait for the decisions on all the counts.
4. If so, then it means that the judicial system is willing to
tom ,   tel aviv   (07.11.12)
be used as a tool in political persecution, thus creating an impression, of somebody being investigated almost at any given time . Add to that, the not so clever "there is no smoke without a fire" saying and you've got an image of a banana republic in no time. But we, the simple Israelis know in our gut, that there is quite a lot of protekzia going on: we've used it ourselves on many occasions....
5. Of Course Olmert Wants to Go back to politics
Netanya ,   Netanya   (07.11.12)
They have the highest salaries for doing next to nothing. Many of them don't even bother going, they take a 3 month vacation in the summer, they are the least hard working people in Israel and the highest paid, so of course Olmert wants to go back. I also want a seat in the kinneset, any seat will do, ideology aside, I want a good salary also. Olmert was not found totally innocent, and the courts need to come down much harder on the politicians abusing their positions. I am tired of all the corruption in all the leaders of Israel and that they are not charged and only given different positions, never leaving the gov't (seems a bit like a dictatorship) Why is Barak again in the gov't? Peres in President. The same names, just different seats, all of them are with the nonwarranted super high salaries.
6. not as bad as it used to be
Larry ,   Los Angeles   (07.11.12)
Yes, there still is corruption in Israel, but not like it used to be. When I first came in 1968, corruption was on every level of politics, now it is so much less on the lower levels, but still present in higher levels. One time you had to pay a Bezek official just to have a telephone installed in your home, now, never. A friend that I worked with in USA was an American soldier in pre-mandate Israel and supplied Begin with explosives. After WWII he came back to USA. When Begin won elections as PM, he came to USA victorious. My friend called him up to wish him mazel tov. Begin invited him to come to live in Israel; he would get him a job in government. My friend told Begin, "I can't live on the money they make in Israel." Begin told him, "So, you will cheat like everyone else here!" Kacha, was the life here even then. Now only the big money talks big. The small employees don't have such chances to take bribes like the big fish.
7. Aliza donates "art" "proceeds" to Aliya
Dov Weisglass ,   Ramallah, PA   (07.11.12)
Quid pro quo for good, I understand her farts precede her.
8. Is Israel as corrupt as it seems ? It is far
DT ,   TA Israel   (07.11.12)
far worse. You have just seen a near total failure over Olmerts trial. Expect a" try again in politics" and another "Whitewash" over the Holy Land affair
9. Yes Mr. Minister
Ethan Schwartz ,   Eilat, Israel   (07.11.12)
There are some amazing civil servants, but there is much too much nepotism and cronyism. Some are more equal then others.
10. Let's not get hysterical...
PaulZion ,   Israel   (07.11.12)
Let's take stock of the situation, before we judge too harshly. Justice must not only be done, it must be SEEN to be done. Therefore, the important thing is that public officials should be held accountable for their actions, even if they are acquitted. It is better for Olmert to have been tried and acquitted ( on 2 out of 3 charges), than for all the suspicions and rumours of corruption to continue - and for the public to think that the State prosecution is also corrupt, because they do nothing about it. However, here is a partial list of public officials who were investigated, tried and convicted. You can judge for yourselves if you think Israel is effective in fighting corruption: Aryeh Deri Rafael Pinhasi Shlomo Ben Izri Haim Ramon Shimon Sheves Moshe Katzav Ehud Olmert ( 1 out of 3) Itzik Mordechai Omri Sharon Tzahi HaNegbi Naomi Blumenthal A former mayor of Hadera ( I forget his name) In addition, Yoav Galant's appointment as Chief of Staff was blocked because of " impropriety", Avigdor Lieberman is being investigated, Uri Lapolianksi is on trial. So, maybe there is a certain shame in the list being so long, but there also should be a pride in the fact that the media is not afraid to expose the corruption and the state to prosecute them.
11. Corrupt Israel .... Lets Face It The Place
Adam ,   London   (07.11.12)
is rotten to the core on every level. Astonishing Israel is number 36, would have thought 136 would be better. Huge efforts need to be made to clean up the whole Country.
12. The nr 1 public enemy is not corruption,
Istvan ,   BUDAPEST HUNGARY   (07.11.12)
but state burocracy. There is no difference between Israel and Hungary, I think so. Both countries have an unnecessary large administrative state apparatus, paid by the state. The result : serious economic problems, no money to improve the standard of living of the citizens.
13. Funny
israel israeli ,   tel aviv   (07.11.12)
In Israel, the word "corruption" (like "rule of law" or "fascist") has no real meaning but is a nasty word used by the extreme Left to attack their opponents. We all remember how the Left accused Shamir (falsely) and Sharon (justifiably) of being corrupt in their efforts to seize power. But what is funny is Olmert. Accusations of his corruption were started by the extreme Left when Olmert was a Likud member. But now, when the Left needs him as their leader, they take him out of the garbage heap, dust him off, and forget that they started the whole thing.
14. #13, you really are delusional
PaulZion ,   Israel   (07.11.12)
The story with Olmert, actually, is that all the suspicions and cases of corruption happened when he was a member of the Likud - both as mayor of Jerusalem and as Minister of Trade and industry. His fellow Likud cronies probably knew all about it ( just as they knew about Katzav's predilection for exploiting female workers under him, sic) but but chose to do nothing about it in order to avoid a scandal. it is impossible that they could NOT have known. However, when he moved to Kadima, they took out all the dirty laundry and leaked it to the press, in order to besmirch him and undermine his premiership. You got it arse about face, but then again, maybe that's the way you always think...
15. Israel's normative corrupt political culture
Michael ,   Haifa   (07.11.12)
The origins of our political culture are to be found in large measure in the politics of the shtetl, where "machers" and "shtadlanim" were major political players and "freierim" were disdained and "schnorerai" covered the mistkes of financial mismanagement and corruption. This culture continued into the pre-state political institutions of the Yishuv and is now deeply engrained and normative within our contemporary political ethos.
16. even more than we think
sad ,   jerusalem   (07.11.12)
17. Not as corrupt as many countries in Europe
Jewish Patriot ,   Galut   (07.11.12)
18. Yes, Israel is one of the most corrupt countries
Rich ,   Toronto, Canada   (07.11.12)
in the Western World. We need a political system where there is accountability to the people of Israel. It's a disgrace. Why couldn't we create a paradise for ourselves like the Germans did after WW II?
19. I think that the judges are corrupt.
fcd ,   jerusalem   (07.11.12)
wonder who bribed them and how much they each received. (probably cash in an envelope).................... the system is SICK.
20. #14 please answer
Fact: the Left accused Olmert of corruption when he joined the government in 2003. At the time I assumed these were false accusations. I do not know what other Likudniks knew or did not know. Fact: at some point the AG started investigating Olmert for corruption, ultimately leading to a trial and Olmert's acquittal. Now, if Olmert did nothing wrong as the court decided, then the Leftists lied in 2003 and the Likudniks were right in supporting the AG while he was investigating. On the other hand, if Olmert is a crook and the Leftist accusations back in 2003 were correct, and the Likud "cronies" published evidence of his crimes once the AG started investigating, then you are accusing the court of corruption for acquitting Olmert. So which is it? Lying Leftists or Corrupt Court?
21. Corruption in all forms
Yoel ,   Israel   (07.11.12)
I am saddened by the outcome of Olmet's trial he like many of the others should be in jail - Israel is definately a most corrupt country- and our Justice system smells to high heaven
22. Corrupt Israeli Police, City halls, and some of the courts
JJJ   (07.11.12)
23. With Olmert, Katsav, Lieberman as your leaders...
The answer is clear...
24. Israelis are not, just the people running things
Josh   (08.01.12)
...and it is more corrupt than we could imagine. Organized crime, rich slugs, corrupt police, P-protections, silent policing, political cowardice, bribes, racial battles, religious power struggles and general low life behavior are only the tip of the iceberg. But as long as the people stay oppressed under such things, the nation will continue to be blamed. Even overseas, these and alike are making a bad name for Jewish people everywhere.
25. Seriously!!!
Stormy ,   Knoxville, TN - USA   (12.06.12)
So how in the world did Syria, Iran, and many other countries get over 100 in which according to the report is considered very clean. I think the report is corrupt if you ask me.
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