Over half of Israelis say fight against corruption doomed

75% believe Israeli society is less moral than five years ago.

AvrahamHirchson 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
AvrahamHirchson 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A majority of Jewish Israeli adults (58 percent) believe that corruption in government cannot be stopped or could be lowered only slightly, according to a study released Tuesday that checks attitudes among Israelis ahead of the Fourth Zionist Congress that will open in Jerusalem on May 14. Only 10% expressed their faith in the anti-corruption efforts underway in Israel, and felt the efforts would deal a severe blow to the level of corruption among Israeli government leaders and officials. In addition, the study found that 75% of Israelis said they believe Israeli society is morally worse today than just five years ago, and 38% said they believe this trend would continue over the next five years. According to Israel Zionist Congress head Moshe Ben-Atar, the study showed that "Israelis are optimistic by nature, but are pessimistic because of the crisis in leadership." The point of next week's World Zionist Congress "is to return the Zionist spirit to Israeli society. After the Second Lebanon War," Ben-Atar said, "I saw greater identification with the values of the state, but also greater pessimism about the Israeli government." The study, which questioned 500 Jewish Israeli adults, was conducted by the Smith Institute for the Israel Zionist Council, the Israeli branch of the World Zionist Organization. The study also found that 69% of Israelis said they were Zionist to a "great" or "very great" extent. Meanwhile, 70% said they believe the state should invest in educating for Zionist values. Of the 12% of Israelis who said they were "not very" or "not at all" Zionist, most came from four groups - haredim, those earning below-average salaries, Israelis under age 29 and olim from the Former Soviet Union who came after 1989. Asked if they wished for Israel to be a "state of all its citizens" or a "Jewish state," 80% of respondents said they supported a Jewish state. Israelis also expressed a strong connection to Diaspora Jewish communities. Forty-six percent said they feel close to Diaspora communities to a "great" or a "very great" extent, and another 28% said they felt "somewhat" connected. The congress is expected to be attended by 1,500 people.