Israel ranked 23rd out of 34 OECD countries in corruption report

December 3, 2013 20:05

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni says Israel must attack corruption with transparency.

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Justice Minister Tzipi Livni

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said on Tuesday that Israel must attack its poor ranking on international corruption with transparency.

“Corruption flourishes in dark rooms,” she said, “therefore transparency should be used as a preemptive cure against it.” The justice minister also remarked on the proper symbolism of Hanukka as a time when “darkness is expelled” by light.

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Livni’s comments followed her receipt of a report from the Israeli chapter of the International Transparency NGO, run by former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.

The report ranked Israel in the bottom third of OECD countries, 23rd out of 34. Israel fared slightly better in a general ranking, coming in 36th out of 177 countries.

At a recent conference on the issue, a Justice Ministry representative sought to push back on the allegation that Israel has zero enforcement actions.

“‘Zero’ does not represent the efforts that the government and the police are making at enforcement,” said Deputy State Attorney Yehuda Shaffer, arguing that mechanisms outside of criminal prosecution were equally important. “Enforcement is not only criminal. As we see in other areas of the law, unfortunately, criminal law has become somewhat ineffective in dealing with financial crime.”

Niv Elis contributed to this report.

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