Arab Israeli community
Photo: Nati Hernik, GPO
Israel drops in democracy survey
A total of 62 percent of Israelis want the government to encourage local Arabs to leave the country, according to the 2006 democracy index released Tuesday by the Israel Democracy Institute.
Only 14 percent of respondents said ties between Arabs and Jews are good, while 29 percent said a Jewish majority is required for decisions of crucial national significance. Meanwhile, 26 percent said religious Jews and secular Jews enjoy a good relationship.
According to the annual survey, Israelis trust the IDF more than any other institution (79 percent,) followed by the High Court of Justice, the media, and the Knesset.
On the economic front, 40 percent of respondents said the country's economic state is not good, while 74 percent said the government mishandled economic problems.
However, despite the grim figures, the survey leaves room for optimism: 86 percent of respondents said they were proud to be Israeli and
90 percent said they wish to continue living in Israel in the long run.
Addressing the disengagement plan and objection to the pullout, 82 percent of respondents said no situation justifies the use of violence for political ends. However, a large decline was seen in the overwhelming objection to insubordination due to ideology. This time around 58 percent said they objected to such insubordination compared to 70 percent in last year's survey.
Israel drops in democracy index
When it comes to the global democracy index, Israel is ranked in 20th place out of 36 countries taking part in the index. The first place countries among least corrupt states are Finland and New Zealand. Argentina and India occupy the last places in the index. Israel, with a grade of 6.3 out of 10, is situated between Estonia and Taiwan.
In 2003, Israel was ranked 14th in the index and dropped to 17th spot by the following year. Researchers at the Israel Democracy Institute said they were very concerned about the continuous decline.
Overall, 62 percent of Israelis said there is plenty of corruption in the country and about half said a candidate must be corrupt in order to reach top leadership positions. Only 10 percent said those who run the country are concerned about the wellbeing of all Israelis.