Press Release

Dealing with Corruption in the Municipalities

As investigations of mayors and other municipal leaders are on the rise in Israel, find out about IDI resources on the issue of corruption in Israel's local authorities.

Investigations of mayors and other municipal leaders are on the rise in Israel. On May 21, 2014, reports emerged of an additional indictment against Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso, who has been charged with bribing a number of activists, hiring them to work on his election campaign in return for employing them in the municipality following the elections. It is also alleged that Gapso sought to employ a number of people in a financial company controlled by the municipality, and that he threatened to fire another worker in that company unless she guaranteed that her family would support him in the election.

Over the years, IDI has focused on the issue of corruption in general and corruption in Israel's local authorities in particular. As early as 2008, Doron Navot's book Political Corruption: A History of a Controversial Concept recommended increasing the oversight of financial companies that are controlled by the municipal authorities. (Information about the sequel published in 2012 can be found here.) In an article for the IDI Hebrew website, Navot also argued that the way that local government in Israel is structured, and the nature of its relationship with the central government, may encourage corruption. (Read the Hebrew article here.)

Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso | Photo: Flash90