Netanyahu Probes Drag Israel Down in World Corruption Index

Israel places lower than UAE and Qatar in yearly Transparency International ranking – but then Trump's U.S. has slipped as well

Lior Dattel
Lior Dattel
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Netanyahu speaking at the "CyberTech 2019" conference for the Cyber industry in Tel Aviv, January 29, 2019
Netanyahu speaking at the "CyberTech 2019" conference for the Cyber industry in Tel Aviv, January 29, 2019Credit: AFP
Lior Dattel
Lior Dattel

The investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior government and Knesset members have sent Israel tumbling further in the 2018 international corruption report published by Transparency International on Tuesday.

Israel was ranked 34th in the Corruption Perceptions Index, released annually by the international NGO, which surveyed 180 countries and territories. In 2017 the organization put Israel in the 32nd spot; in 2017, it was in 28th place.

Last year Israel placed lower than the United Arab Emirates (23) and Qatar (33) in the index, which rates corruption on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the "cleanest." Seven research institutes collected the data on Israel that were factored into its score, which was 61.

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Denmark topped Transparency International's 2018 list, with a score of 88. New Zealand was second, with 87.

Other countries with a higher overall ranking than Israel include Uruguay (23), Barbados (25), Chile (27) and Brunei (31). The African Republic of Botswana also shared the 34th spot.

Israel’s grade of 61 is the same as what it received in the 2013 index. Its standing briefly improved, before starting to drop again from 2015 onward. It received its lowest ranking ever in 2006, following the end of Ariel Sharon’s government and Ehud Olmert's rise to power.

Out of the 36 OECD nations – many which typically garner the highest, least corrupt spots in the index – Israel came in 23rd, in 2018. OECD nations ranked lower than Israel included the Czech Republic (59), Lithuania (38), Latvia and Spain (tied at 41), South Korea (45), Hungary (64) and Greece (67).

The United States under Donald Trump’s leadership dipped in the index as well, losing four points from 2017 and slipping to 22nd place.

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