The public considers the Holyland affair to be the most corrupt event in 2010, the Committee to Measure Social Health found in its annual Corruptions Perception Index, published on Wednesday by the Sderot Conference for Society.

The conference has published the CPI on its opening day for the past four years. The figures express the public’s perception of the degree of corruption in Israel, what actions it considers corrupt, and which institutions are the most and least corrupt.

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Only half of the sample answered the question “What, in your opinion, was the most corrupt incident from a moral point of view reported during the past year?”

Of those who expressed an opinion, 54 percent chose the Holyland affair, while 14% chose the Rishon Tours affair, allegedly involving former prime minister Ehud Olmert. Six percent chose the so-called Galant document, which turned out to be a fraud, while five percent chose the conviction of former finance minister Abraham Hirchson on embezzlement charges and 3% chose the Katsav affair.

The survey found that 69% of the public assess the level of general corruption in government as high or very high, compared with 67% in 2009. Fifty-nine percent believe the level of general corruption is higher or much higher than it was in the past. Last year the figure was 57%.

The survey assessed various actions on the part of public officials according to the degree of their gravity in the eyes of the public. The higher the index, the more grave the action. These actions include receiving money or other benefits in return for advancing a person’s interest (index of 4.56); appointing cronies who are unsuited for their jobs in the public service (4.63); using public funds for personal needs (4.75); not speaking the truth to the public (4.5); concealing important information from the public (4.32); supporting interest groups with public money (4.64); patronage for friends and family (4.52), and receiving large contributions from businessmen.

The most corrupt institution in the country is perceived by the public as being the political parties (62% said they were corrupt or very corrupt.) They are followed by the local councils (43%), the Knesset (41%), and the government ministries (38%).

The institutions that rated highest in terms of the way they are run were the army and the defense establishment, and the health system (83% gave them middling or higher grades), followed by the National Insurance Institute (74%), the police (68%) and the judicial system (66%).

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