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Corruption

Ehud Olmert
Ehud Olmert
Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav

In recent years, the world of Israeli politics has faced some major corruption scandals. While in 1997 the anti-corruption group Transparency International listed Israel in its top 10 of least corrupt political entities, in 2009 it had fallen to 32nd place and in 2012 it had dropped further to 39th.

Most scandals involve illegal acceptance of money from foreign sources. In 2008, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, former mayor of Jerusalem, had to resign  as leader of the political party Likud on account of such accusations, but current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, current Minister of Defence Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and current Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman have also been accused of such acts (see Political parties).

Besides financial scandals, a few very serious sexual scandals have surfaced in the past years. The Minister of Justice, Haim Ramon, was accused and found guilty of indecent acts with a female soldier, and former President Moshe Katsav was accused of rape and several instances of sexual harassment. Katsav signed a plea bargain with the Attorney General and resigned. Ramon, however, is still serving as a member of the Knesset.