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Israel ranks among most corrupt in West

Israel's regime is one of the most corrupt and least efficient in
the Western world. In fact, the only developed country considered
more corrupt and less efficient is Italy, according to data
published by the World Bank.
4 August 2005

The World Bank figures are in the public domain, and were
republished yesterday by Business Data Israel([search]) (BDI).

The World Bank government efficiency index examines the quality of
public services. It ranks the professionalism of government
officials providing the services, bureaucracy, political pressure on
officials and government's credibility regarding policy commitments.
The Israeli index reached 80.8 percent, trailing developed countries
like Holland, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, France
and Spain. The average ranking in the developed world was 89.7

The government corruption index compares the public's perception on
whether government power is used to promote private interests.
Israel again scored 80.8 percent, compared to an average 91.4
percent average among developed nations. Only Italy scored lower, at
74.9 percent.

The law enforcement index examines various bodies' confidence in the
judicial system. Israel earned 74.4 percent, far behind Spain (85
percent), France (88.9 percent) and the average for developed
countries (90.3 percent). Holland led the pack at 95.2 percent,
followed by the U.S. and Germany, both at 92.3 percent.

The regulatory index looks into whether government policy impedes
free market mechanisms and if banking regulation is effective.
Israel scored lowest out of the developed nations on this parameter,
at 71.9 percent compared to an average 90.6 percent.

Israel posted the lowest index in political stability, at 15
percent, compared to the U.S.'s 60.7 percent, Italy's 56.3 percent
or Holland, at the top of the table with 88.3 percent.

BDI reported that Israel's ranking in government quality has taken a
worrisome downturn since 2000. BDI attributed the deterioration to
the security situation, the economic crisis and various corruption
affairs from recent years.

"Israel is considered one of the riskiest places in the Western
world, with an unstable, inefficient regime, low accountability, a
relatively high rate of state corruption and poor law enforcement,"
BDI said, based on the World Bank report. BDI economists noted that
the low indices hamper foreign investment, raise risk premiums on
financial markets and hurt resource allocation.


Re: Israel ranks among most corrupt in West

Israel Squawk Squawk

Re: Israel ranks among most corrupt in West

from wayne madsen's long investigative report on the israeli "art students" at


The presence in the United States of a number of young Israelis, most of whom had specialized military and intelligence backgrounds, in the months prior to 911 is a subject that has received inadequate attention from the major U.S. media and government investigators. The activities of the Israelis fell into two main areas: the casing of the offices and homes of Federal law enforcement officials, U.S. military bases, and other sensitive sites by Israeli “art students� during 2000 and 2001 and the unusual activities of Israeli “movers� around sensitive areas during and after 911. These incidents occurred in tandem with the suspiscious activities of other former Israeli military and intelligence officials in neighboring countries, including Canada and Mexico, after 911. In addition, a number of Israeli intelligence agents were apprehended abroad for passport violations and other illegal activities.

The possibility that the suspicious Israeli activity was linked to the movements of Al Qaeda cells cannot be brushed aside as merely coincidental. For example, a number of the Israelis arrested for suspicious activities involving selling bogus Israeli art and driving moving vans were concentrated in some of the same neighborhoods where a number of the 911 Saudi and other Arab hijackers lived and trained at flight schools.

Two internal U.S. government documents revealed that among the 120 Israeli “art students� who attempted to penetrate the security of dozens of Federal office buildings and who visited the homes of scores of U.S. law enforcement personnel during 2000 and 2001 were some who used addresses and mail drops in southern Florida and Texas near those used by a number of the 911 hijackers. The information came from a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Report drafted in June 2001 on the activities of the art students and a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) list of the hijackers and other terrorist suspects, accidentally released in early October 2001 on a Finnish government web site. The DEA memo specifically stated that the Israelis may have had ties to an “Islamic fundamentalist group.�


On April 30, 2001, the Air Force issued a security alert from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City concerning a “possible intelligence collection effort being conducted by Israeli art students.� DEA, INS, FBI, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offices received similar alerts.


The Israeli students operated in groups of between 4 to 8 individuals led by “Team Leaders.� The team leaders controlled the teams’ visits, drove the vehicles, and often had in their vehicles cameras and recording equipment. A number of the students had significant Israeli military experience in demolitions, explosives, and signals intelligence.

The team active in the Irving, Texas area (near Dallas-Fort Worth Airport) had links to the Chesterfield, Missouri-based Israeli communications software firm AMDOCS, which has an outsourcing agreement with Nextel; RETALIX, an Israeli company involved in software for the retail food industry; and NICE, an Israeli software engineering firm.


The involvement of the Israeli cells with communications companies raised serious concerns at the DEA and Justice Department, which were both using Israeli communications intercept software in their field operations. The DEA used a T2S2 intercept system provided by Comverse and JSI, two Israeli companies. Comverse was very close to the Israeli government, which reimbursed it up to 50 percent for its research and development costs. The FBI’s Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) Implementation Office in Chantilly, Virginia was extremely concerned about the threat posed by Comverse’s intercept system. But the worries of the Chantilly office and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) were overridden by the FBI’s engineering office in Quantico, Virginia, which was supported by such contractors as Booz Allen Hamilton. The nexus of art students, intelligence surveillance, and possible involvement in Ecstasy trafficking set off alarm bells at the highest levels of the DEA about the “art students.� The reason was simple. T2S2 systems were used in what the DEA, Coast Guard, Customs, and other counter narcotics agencies called High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) and associated wiretap centers and surveillance teams (STs).


On May 31, 2005, it was announced in Israel([search]) that Israeli police and Interpol discovered a huge computer espionage ring involving a number of former Israeli intelligence officers and Israeli companies, including AMDOCS. Israeli police questioned AMDOCS computer security manager Eitan Shiron in the investigation that surrounded the use by over a dozen Israeli companies of a sophisticated hacking software program, called a Trojan horse, which bypassed the security controls on targeted computer systems. The Israeli investigation also focused on four major Israeli telecommunications companies – Cellcom, Israel’s largest mobile phone company; two subsidiaries of the largest telecommunications company Bezeq Israel Telecom; mobile phone company Pelephone; and satellite television company Yes. Scotland Yard also participated in the take down of the Israeli espionage ring, arresting dual Israeli-German citizen Michael Haephrati and his wife Ruth Brier-Haephrati in London on an Israeli extradition warrant. The Israeli couple was charged with�unauthorized modification of the contents of a computer� between December 12, 2004 and February 28, 2005.� Police said they wrote the Trojan horse computer program and provided it to a middleman. The Trojan horse in question was believed to be a derivative of the PROMIS software program illegally procured from Inslaw, Inc. in Washington, DC in the early 1980s and re-engineered by a number of intelligence agencies, including Israel’s, to perform computer espionage.


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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

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