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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ehud K. Olmert wins an award

Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert won an award this evening, but somehow I don't think it's one he's going to cherish. Olmert was voted the most corrupt government official in Israel for the second year in a row, just barely edging out former Finance Minister Avraham Hirschson who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from his union. But this year's 'win' was an 'improvement' over last year's. Last year, only 42% of the people asked rated him as corrupt or very corrupt. This year it was 56%. And he needed every last percentage point because Hirschson got 55%.

Tied in third place are Vice Premier Haim Ramon, who was recently convicted of sexual assault, and Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman with 33%. And sharing fourth place as the most corrupt government ministers are Defense Minister Ehud Barak (29%) and current Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On.

The cabinet's only two women, Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni and Education Minister Yuli Tamir, received a far more honorable standing being labeled the most honest government ministers. Livni won the title last year too; this year 46% of those polled said that believed she is honest to very honest and 40% said the same about Tamir. Other government ministers considered to be honest were Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz (35%), Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (27%) and Deputy Prime Minister and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai (25%).

The MK seen as most corrupt is still Kadima MK Tzahi Hanegbi - who won the title last year - with this time around garnering 40% of the vote, followed by Likud party chairman MK Binyamin Netanyahu. Those considered to be honest to very honest are MK Shelly Yacimovich (44%) and Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik (41%).

The annual corruption index, which was conducted by the Maagar Mochot Interdisciplinary Consulting Research Institute, used a sample of 551 Israeli adults.
What a country!

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