In Israel political parties most corrupt, followed by religious institutions: Transparency International

KARACHI: Like many other countries of the world, in Israel the political parties are found most corrupt, but interestingly followed by the religious institutions of that country, as shown by Annual Global Corruption Barometer of the Transparency International (TI).

The survey categorized different sectors of Israeli society including police, public officials, political parties, parliament, medical and health services, judiciary, education system, business and private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media, military and religious bodies over their involvement in corrupt practices.

Interesting the religious institutions are considered as least corrupt around the world; however, in Israel they are the second most corrupt sector after the political parties.

The survey, carried out online with 1004 people countrywide, showed that religious bodies scored above 4 on a corruption scale of 1 to 5. Israelis assigned the Chief Rabbinate and the Religious Services Ministry a score of 4.1 on this scale, which equate to 82 percent.

Moreover, Israelis, like most around the world, report that corruption has worsened over the course of the last year. This accords with Israel’s recent and steady slide in global corruption rankings, from 30th in 2007 to 39th in 2012.

In its annual Global Corruption Barometer, Transparency International showed that 64% of people around the world thought that personal contacts were important to get things done in the public sector. This jumps to 89% in Israel. – with only Lebanon, Ukraine and Russia reporting equally high results.

Similarly, Israel ranked second to only Greece among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations on the perception that government is run by a few big interests, described by Transparency International as a sign of “deep-rooted failures of governance.”

Seventy-three percent of Israelis identified their government as captured by special interests, as compared to 62% of Mexicans, 49% of Turks and 5% of Norwegians.

12% of Israelis report having paid bribes in the last year, in the dubious company of such countries as Argentina, the Philippines and Rwanda, and outranking most comparably wealthy countries. The exact same percentage of Palestinians report having resorted to bribery in the last 12 months.

The military, education system and judiciary are perceived as Israel’s least corrupt, sporting moderate ratings.

However, Israel also ranks among the highest on measures of willingness to challenge corruption. An overwhelming 98% of Israelis surveyed express a willingness to get involved in anti-corruption activities, with over 90% endorsing the option of signing an anti-corruption petition.

Despite pessimism about government responsiveness, over 90% of Israelis say that they would be willing to report an incident of corruption.