Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, shown here on December 27 after fending off an internal challenge as leader of the Likud party, presides over a citizenry that, according to the results of a new survey, sees the country’s politicians as corrupt and longs for national unity. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Survey Finds Most Israelis View Their Leaders as Corrupt (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

Annual Israeli Democracy Index shows citizens divided over quality of country’s democracy and political system, yet still satisfied with their lives

The highly respected Israel Democracy Institute has found that 58% of Israelis feel their leaders are corrupt, and almost equal proportions believe that the country’s system of democracy is good or very good (34%) or bad or very bad (35%).

In a year when a political stalemate has forced multiple snap elections (the next one takes place in eight weeks) and a sitting prime minister found out he is about to be indicted for alleged corruption, Israelis are indeed talking about a broken system – which is a big deal for a nation that often boasts it’s the only true democracy in the Middle East.

Nevertheless, the findings of the 2019 Israeli Democracy Index, which was released on July 7 and is considered a reliable overview of the way citizens perceive their country, show that fully 84% would choose to remain even if offered citizenship in the United States or a western European country.

The index this year is based on a survey of 1,041 Israeli citizens, a representative sample of Jews, Arabs and other non-Jews, that was carried out last May.

To learn more about its findings, The Media Line spoke with Prof. Tamar Hermann, academic director of the IDI’s Guttmann Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research, which conducts the survey and writes up the findings.

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