90% of Israelis see country "tainted with corruption"

Survey: 51% believe that corruption is necessary in politics.

The 2008 Democracy Index compiled by Israel Democracy Institute finds that 90% of Israelis believe that the country is "tainted with corruption". 60% of respondents said that corruption was "very high" and 30% said that it was "quite high". Only 9% said that it was "very low", and 1% said that there was no corruption at all.

51% of the respondents said that corruption was necessary in order to reach the top echelons of Israeli politics today.

Although the survey finds that Israel receives better evaluations from international research institutes compared with previous years, there is no change in Israels ranking among a sample of 36 countries, and in certain cases, its ranking has fallen. In other words, despite the relative improvement in Israels scores in certain categories, the situation of other countries has improved more and, relative to them, Israels ranking has fallen.

The survey also found that, for the first time, the public trusts the media more than the Supreme Court as the institution which best safeguards Israeli democracy, 36% to 35%. The Knesset is ranked third as the institute that safeguards democracy, with 16%, followed by the Prime Minister's Office with 13%. Nevertheless, trust in the media is not high, and is falling: The media received 37%, a drop of eight percentage points compared with 2007. "Most of these findings highlight the serious flaws in the functioning of the Israeli political system and point to anti-political trends," said the Israel Democracy Institute.

The publics trust in the Supreme Court plummeted by 12 percentage points to 49% this year from 61% in 2007. 36% of the public have trust in the Attorney General. The IDF heads the list of institutions which the public trusts the most, at 71%, a decline of 3 percentage points compared with 2007. Trust in the President of the State rose from 22% to 47%. Trust in the police fell substantially from 41% to 33%, and in the Knesset from 33% to 29%. The Prime Minister receives an expression of trust of only 17%, while political parties are at the bottom of the list with a rating of 15%.

The Democracy Index was presented today to President Shimon Peres. Israel Democracy Institutes Guttman Center prepared the survey, which is based on international comparative measures and on an analysis of the perception of democracy as reflected in public opinion polls. The Index presents findings of a public opinion poll, representative of the adult population in Israel, with 1,201 respondents taking part in one of three languages, Hebrew, Arabic, or Russian. The maximum sample error margin: 2.8%.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 10, 2008

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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