Israel

   

Social Policies

#26
Key Findings
With significant concerns over equity, Israel falls into the lower-middle ranks (rank 26) with respect to social policies. Its score in this area has fallen by 0.1 point relative to 2014.

The education system is split, with greater funding and stronger performances within secular Hebrew-language schools than in Arab-language or ultra-Orthodox institutions. Income inequality is significant, and the relative poverty rate is quite high despite recent improvements, with poverty rates within the Arab minority substantially higher than in the majority Jewish population.

Health care provision is universal and generally of high quality, although recent privatization campaigns may have reduced efficiency. Programs offer subsidies for child care up to the age of five, as well as free early childhood education between the ages of three and four. The share of women in the workforce is nearing that of men, but the gender wage gap is very large.

Recent pension reforms have lowered pension fees and made Israeli pensions mandatory for self-employed workers. Integration efforts are directed toward ethnic-Jewish immigrants, with others suffering from ad-hoc policy failures. A policy addressing illegal migration from Africa relies on detention centers and forced deportations. Internal security is tightly bound up with national defense.

Education

#15

To what extent does education policy deliver high-quality, equitable and efficient education and training?

10
 9

Education policy fully achieves the criteria.
 8
 7
 6


Education policy largely achieves the criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Education policy partially achieves the criteria.
 2
 1

Education policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Education Policy
6
Israel’s average education-attainment levels are high, and the value of education is well established in the community as a whole. The country has a heterogeneous education system. From primary to upper-secondary level, students are generally sorted into one of four primary school streams: three for the Hebrew-speaking community (secular, religious and ultra-orthodox), and one for the Arabic-speaking community (Arab, Druze and Bedouin minorities together).

Surveys indicate that 47% of adults (25- to 64-year-olds) have achieved a tertiary level of education, above the OECD average of 43%. Moreover, Israel ranks first within the OECD countries with regard to the share of secondary graduates under 20 years old. Israel spends a little more than 5.8% of its GDP (nearly 11% of the government budget) on education, again higher than the OECD average of 5.2% of GDP. However, expenditure on tertiary education is below the OECD average, at less than 1% of GDP. One Israeli university (the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology) ranks in the top 100 universities worldwide according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities list produced by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. Primary and secondary teachers’ salaries have increased significantly in recent years, and are now well above the national average salary.

However, while the average primary-school class size within the OECD as a whole is 21, the average primary-school class size in Israel is 28. This is a much-discussed aspect of the education system, leading to frequent expressions of frustration in the local media. PISA results are also deemed problematic. In the last PISA results published, Israel scored under the OECD average in all fields (science, mathematics and reading). However, it did score above the OECD average with regard to equity indicators in all fields (boys vs girls, social background, and immigrant students). Moreover, Israel has almost no gender gap in the completion rate of bachelors or equivalent programs.

Despite all the positive progress, Israel still shows gaps in educational performance among sub-groups of the student population. For example, average class sizes in the Hebrew-language school streams are lower than in the Arab stream, despite the 2007 policy reform designed to institute changes across all streams. There is another significant gap between the ultra-orthodox minority group and the secular majority. In May of 2017, the National Council of Higher Education signed a program aimed at extending access to tertiary education within the ultra-orthodox community, setting a goal of increasing the annual total of tertiary students drawn from within this group from about 11,500 to 19,000. Despite this program’s positive goal, it sparked widespread opposition, especially regarding the decision to create gender-separated tertiary programs in order to make it more accessible to ultra-orthodox men.

These gaps result in part from unequal budgetary allocations. There is a bias favoring the Jewish majority in the education budget, although the media have recently reported that the Ministry of Education has designed a new allocation process seeking to correct the bias and increase budgets within the Arab and ultra-orthodox education streams. A separate reform in which “additional” school fees were raised has sparked opposition, with critics arguing that it violates the free-education policy.

In conclusion, Israel’s education policy delivers high-quality education in some areas, and but only medium-level results in others. Policy has improved significantly in terms of equality and efficiency of funding. Nevertheless, inequality in the education sector still exists.

Citations:
“Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017,” ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU2017.html

Dattel, Lior, “Arab Student Inequality has Decreased – and Achievements Increased,” The Marker, 30.8.17, https://www.themarker.com/news/education/1.4401423 (Hebrew)

Dattel, Lior, “For the First Time: Money will be Transferred from Strong High schools to Weaker Ones,” 26.7.17, https://www.themarker.com/news/education/1.3018236
(Hebrew)

“Education at a Glance 2017: OECD Indicators.” OECD website
http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/education/education-at-a-glance-2017_eag-2017-en#.WctRq9MjG34

Taub Center, “The State Current Situation 2017” (Hebrew)
http://taubcenter.org.il/wp-content/files_mf/pon2017hebrew22.pdf

Taversky, David, “Education for the Rich,” Davar1, 27.9.2017,
http://www.davar1.co.il/87212/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=yeladim2709&utm_campaign=d1

Levi, Sarah, “‘Half of Israel’s kids getting a Third World education’,” Jerusalem Post, 16.08.2017, http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Half-of-Israels-kids-getting-a-Third-World-education-502549

Social Inclusion

#37

To what extent does social policy prevent exclusion and decoupling from society?

10
 9

Policies very effectively enable societal inclusion and ensure equal opportunities.
 8
 7
 6


For the most part, policies enable societal inclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 5
 4
 3


For the most part, policies fail to prevent societal exclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 2
 1

Policies exacerbate unequal opportunities and exclusion from society.
Social Inclusion Policy
3
Despite findings last year that indicated a slight improvement in social equality and inclusion, inequality levels in Israel are still among OECD’s highest. The country ranks sixth of 32 countries surveyed on the basis of inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient. It also has the second-highest relative-income poverty rate within the OECD (18.6%).

Israel’s social spending and tax policies create a dissonance between overall moderate growth rates on the one hand and ongoing social polarization on the other. This polarization is reflected in several dimensions, including a persistent gender-based pay gap, significant average wage differences between different sub-groups, and significant inequalities within the elderly population relative to their state before retirement. Differences on the basis of gender and ethnicity are narrowing somewhat, but remain prominent. For example, average income for Israeli-Ethiopians is about half the overall average, and the average income among the Arab population is about two-thirds of the overall average. The poverty rate within the Arab minority group is three times higher than in the Jewish majority group, with a similar rate evident in the ultra-orthodox Jewish group. Given this persistent polarization, it is difficult to identify significant social-policy successes in Israel in recent years. According to the National Insurance Institute (NII), the slight improvement in social indicators is due to improved workforce-participation rates, although these higher participation rates have not yet translated into reduced poverty rates in the ultra-orthodox and Arab populations. This is aggravated by policies such as a reduction in the level of social transfers for children, and a low guaranteed minimal income. Indeed, Israel currently has one of the lowest rates of spending on social issues among the OECD countries (15.8% of GDP compared to an OECD average of 21.9%, 2014).

In December 2015, Israel’s government launched a five-year comprehensive program aimed at economic and structural development within the Arab population. However, the original budget allocation of ILS 15.5 billion has been reduced to ILS 9.7 billion, excluding the education component.

Citations:
Dattel, L. & D. Maor, “Income inequality in Israel among highest in OECD,” Haaretz, 22.5.2015:
http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.657611
Endeweld, M., Heller, O., Barkali, N. and Gottlieb, D., “Poverty and Social Gaps Report – Poverty and Social Gaps in 2014, annual report,” National Insurance Institute (NII), Jerusalem, January 2016:
https://www.btl.gov.il/English%20Homepage/Publications/Poverty_Report/Documents/oni2014-e.pdf
Swirsky, S., E. Konor-Atias and R. Zelinger, “Social status report 2015,” December 2015. (Hebrew)
http://adva.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/social-2015-1.pdf
Ben Solomon, Ariel, “Israeli government reaches historic budget deal for Arab sector after tough negotiations,” Jerusalem Post Online, 30/12/2015, http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israeli-government-reaches-historic-budget-deal-for-Arab-sector-after-tough-negotiations-438889
Ilan, Shahar, “The Five Year Plan To The Arab Sector: You Cannot do anything with a List of Confessions ”Calcalist, 16.10.2016, http://www.calcalist.co.il/local/articles/0,7340,L-3699823,00.html

Elran, Meir and Muhammed Abu Nasra, Eran Yashiv, and Morsi Abu Moch, “Two Years into the Five-Year Plan for Economic Development of the Arabs in Israel,” INSS Insight No. 993, 22.11.2017, http://www.inss.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/No.-995.pdf

Health

#7

To what extent do health care policies provide high-quality, inclusive and cost-efficient health care?

10
 9

Health care policy achieves the criteria fully.
 8
 7
 6


Health care policy achieves the criteria largely.
 5
 4
 3


Health care policy achieves the criteria partly.
 2
 1

Health care policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Health Policy
8
Under the 1994 National Insurance Act, all citizens in Israel are entitled to medical attention through a health maintenance organization (HMO). This is a universal and egalitarian law, allowing for broad access to subsidized primary care, medical specialists and medicines. A 2012 OECD survey identified Israeli health care system as one of the best in the developed world, ranking fifth with a score of 8.5 out of 10. In 2016, Israel’s health system was still perceived as being strong and successful thanks to good health outcomes and a strong primary health care system.

According to the most recent research published, life expectancy in Israel is relatively high, ranking sixth among the OECD countries. Nonetheless, there are specific areas of the health care system that need further improvement, as revealed by the high percentage of private spending for health, continued overcrowding in hospitals and the shortage of nurses. The OECD has acknowledged the Israeli system’s efficiency, as expressed in part through a unique auditing and regulatory system for HMOs that involves constructive criticism and guidance as opposed to monetary inducements. However, the OECD has also criticized a lack of communications between HMOs and hospitals. Similar concerns are raised by NGOs arguing that recent privatization campaigns have led to a deterioration in efficiency, with Israeli facilities suffering from long waiting periods and overworked personnel.

Health professionals have publicly stated that the OECD survey was premature, as a deterioration in services produced by recent policy reforms has simply not yet become evident. Despite broad health coverage, inequalities in health outcomes and access to health services have persisted. Low-income families still have poor access to dental care and nursing services. Non-Jewish Israelis from poor socioeconomic groups, as well as those living in the north and south periphery regions, experience worse health and have high health-risk factors.

Privatization pressures are increasing within the Israeli health system. An increase in the use of supplemental and private medical-insurance and health care plans is resulting in reduced equality within the system.

According to a 2017 Taub Center study, health care spending as a share of GDP has remained fairly stable over the past two decades, at about 7% of GDP compared to an average of 10% in other OECD countries. However, the share of public funding in the total national expenditure on health has declined, from about 70% to 61% (compared to about 77% share of public finding among the OECD countries). Consequently, private expenditure on health care has increased as a share of total household expenditure, from 4.5% in 2000 to 5.7% in 2015.

The quality of health services and facilities varies by geographical location, with periphery facilities often struggling to attract skilled personnel. Nevertheless, the Israeli system is fairly equitable in international comparison.

Citations:
OECD, “Health Policy in Israel,” OECD Health Policy Overview, April 2016, https://www.oecd.org/israel/Health-Policy-in-Israel-April-2016.pdf

Swirsky, S., E. Konor-Atias, “Social status report 2016,” January 2017. (Hebrew)
http://adva.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SocialReport2016.pdf

Chernichovsky, Dov, “Current Developments in the Health care System,” Policy Research, 21.12.2017,
http://taubcenter.org.il/current-developments-in-the-health care-system/

Families

#16

To what extent do family support policies enable women to combine parenting with participation in the labor market?

10
 9

Family support policies effectively enable women to combine parenting with employment.
 8
 7
 6


Family support policies provide some support for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 5
 4
 3


Family support policies provide only few opportunities for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 2
 1

Family support policies force most women to opt for either parenting or employment.
Family Policy
7
Israel has a mixed family policy that is pro-family while supporting the integration of mothers in the labor force. Its pro-family policy includes essentially free coverage of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures for women under the age of 45 and child allowances for all Israeli families with children under the age of 17 (without limitations based on income). Its integration policy includes parental leave arrangements, robust child-care policies and protection of job and benefits during maternity leave.

In 2010 a law was introduced to extend maternity leave to 14 paid weeks, and 26 weeks in total. In 2016, a similar law was introduced to allow fathers to use an additional six days of paternity leave. The total weeks of leave at full pay received by the average woman over her lifetime in Israel is similar to the average level within the OECD. However, other OECD countries offer more flexibility in terms of using parental-leave benefits or returning to work on a part-time basis.

In recent years, the need for further subsidies for day care and after-school activities has gained prominence as a middle-class issue, and a plan to introduce subsidized care for children up to the age of five was launched. Compulsory education has been expanded, introducing free early childhood education between ages three and four. However, reports claim that this program is still largely underfunded and does not offer sustainable relief for working mothers and young families. Recently, Finance minister Moshe Kahlon announced a series of intended tax cuts called the “Net Family Plan.” The program includes benefits such as subsidies for after-school activities, extra tax points for men and women with children up to six years old, an expansion of work grants and reduced taxes on baby clothes, all with the aim of assisting families and working mothers.

The share of women in Israel’s workforce has increased substantially over the past 30 years. Once accounting for just a third of the workforce, women currently make up 47% of employees. A 2016 study indicates that employment rates are almost unaffected during for women aged between 25 and 44 who become mothers. The gap was even smaller for highly educated women, since education offers greater access to prestigious jobs and financial rewards for working mothers. This positive trend is more prevalent among Jewish working women, who have an employment rate nearly equal to that of Jewish men. However, in 2015, the employment rate among Arab women remained at only 31.5%, with ultra-orthodox Jewish women also lagging behind, although both populations have shown gradual improvement, and have been the focus of a general economic policy aiming to expand social inclusion in the labor market.

Wage gaps between men and women remain. Since many women work part-time or hold temporary jobs in order to sustain their traditional role as the main household caregivers, the average monthly wage for women in 2015 was just 68.3% of the average monthly wage among men. The gender gap is smaller but still significant for hourly wages, with women making an average hourly rate 84.9% that of men’s average rate. Studies continue to point to ongoing discrimination against women in the business and public sectors.

In the beginning of 2017, the civil service commissioner issued a working regulation requiring all ministries to adopt a “family friendly” arrangement under which meetings would not be held in the afternoon twice a week in order to support workers who wished to dedicate more time to their families. Moreover, the commission’s strategic plan placed special emphasis on promoting a workplace ethic of gender equality.

Citations:
Central Bureau of Statistics, “Labour Force Survey Data, August 2017” http://www.cbs.gov.il/reader/newhodaot/hodaa_template_eng.html?hodaa=201720283

Karcher-Tzameret, H., Herzog, H., Hazan, N. “The gender index,” Shavot – the center for women advancement in the public sphere 2016 (Hebrew). http://genderindex.vanleer.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/%D7%A2%D7%99%D7%A7%D7%A8%D7%99-%D7%94%D7%9E%D7%9E%D7%A6%D7%90%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%9E%D7%93%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%9E%D7%92%D7%93%D7%A8-2016.pdf

“Life-work balance: regulation 2/2017,” Civil Service Commission (Hebrew):
http://www.csc.gov.il/DataBases/Hozrim/Pages/2-2017.aspx


Mizrachi-Simon, S. “Employment within Arab Woman in Israel” Knesset Research and Information Center, 31.7.2016,
https://www.knesset.gov.il/mmm/data/pdf/m03804.pdf

Swirsky, S., E. Konor-Atias, “Social status report 2016,” January 2017. (Hebrew)
http://adva.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SocialReport2016.pdf

Taub Center Staff, “Work-life balance: parental leave policies in Israel” Taub Center Bulletin Articles, 27.7.2016,
http://taubcenter.org.il/work-life-balance-parental-leave-policies-in-israel/

Udasin, S & Hoffman, G. “Kahlon Announces Sweeping Tax Cut Program for Working Families,” The Jerusalem Post, 18.4.2017, http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Kahlon-announces-sweeping-tax-cut-program-for-working-families-488250

Pensions

#12

To what extent does pension policy realize goals of poverty prevention, intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability?

10
 9

Pension policy achieves the objectives fully.
 8
 7
 6


Pension policy achieves the objectives largely.
 5
 4
 3


Pension policy achieves the objectives partly.
 2
 1

Pension policy does not achieve the objectives at all.
Pension Policy
7
Over the past two decades, Israel initiated several reforms for pension policy, profoundly changing the system with respect to employer-based pensions and national insurance. The reforms introduced a new defined-benefit (DC) pension plan, with contributions invested in the market instead of government bonds. In so doing, it transformed an underfunded system driven by collective bargaining into a system of mainly defined-contribution individual accounts with varied levels of collective risk sharing. In the last years, Israel also increased the legal maximum for insurance contributions (including that for pension insurance), with the aim of improving fiscal stability and the system’s overall sustainability.

One of its main consequences was shifting more responsibility to individuals. This risk was partly resolved by an agreement that was struck between the New Histadrut trade union, the Coordination Office of the Economic Organizations and the government. Once approved by the government in 2008, it ensured a steady pension contribution for every salaried employee, with two-thirds of this stream financed by the employer. In 2016, the contribution was raised to a minimum of 18.5% of monthly salary. Thus, it is meant to secure the future of Israel’s moderately aging population. However, it also reduced available income for poor households, and does not supply the supplementary income that is critical for the extremely poor.

At the end of 2008, the Israeli government implemented a reform that introduced a requirement for life-cycle strategies in pension savings products. The reform initiated the establishment of different investment tracks with age-based investment profiles, serving as default options for savers who failed to make an investment choice by themselves. Since the new system is regulated rather than operated by the state, it is subject to the rules of the free market; even though every worker is legally entitled to a pension, private pension operators have discretion over client selection.

In 2016, a new pension-system reform was launched by Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon. The reform was expected to help the weakest workers by lowering the pension fees by increasing competition. In addition, two “default” pension funds committed to charging lower management fees were created; these are expected to increase monthly post-retirement pension payments by 18%.

New legislation taking effect in January 2017 requires self-employed individuals to pay into an Israeli-recognized pension plan as of the 2017 tax year.

Regarding the prevention of poverty among the elderly and the guarantee of equality, Israel’s pension policy has room for improvement. Recent research indicates that post-retirement income-level inequalities are due to the large gaps in pension saving in different socioeconomic groups.

Citations:
JPOST, “Pension Reform,” The Jerusalem Post, 8.2.2016, http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Pension-reform-463059

“Kahlon unveils pension plan for self-employed Israel,” Globes, 21.4.2016, 
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-kahlon-unveils-pension-plan-for-self-employed-israelis-1001119587

Swirsky, S., E. Konor-Atias, “Social status report 2016,” January 2017. (Hebrew)
http://adva.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/SocialReport2016.pdf

Zarhia, Zvi, “The Work and Welfare Committee Approved: Pension Savings for all Self-Employed,” 07.02.2016 https://www.themarker.com/news/1.3146099

Radomsky, Binyamin,”What Israel’s New Self-Employed Pension Plan Requirement Means for Freelancers,” 26.02.2017, http://aboulafia.co.il/self-employed-pension-plan-israel/

Integration

#33

How effectively do policies support the integration of migrants into society?

10
 9

Cultural, education and social policies effectively support the integration of migrants into society.
 8
 7
 6


Cultural, education and social policies seek to integrate migrants into society, but have failed to do so effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Cultural, education and social policies do not focus on integrating migrants into society.
 2
 1

Cultural, education and social policies segregate migrant communities from the majority society.
Integration Policy
4
The legal status of immigrants in Israel is based on the Law of Return (1950), the Law of Citizenship (1952) and the Law of Entrance to Israel (1952). These constitute strict conditions for gaining citizenship, allowing Jewish immigration to receive a permanent legal status as part of the Zionist vision. While still relevant, it is unable to offer a constructive framework for dealing with current global immigration challenges including Palestinian or African immigration to Israel. In the absence of a coherent framework for general immigration, immigration policy is de facto established by ad hoc decisions, harming the state and immigrants alike. For example, Israel’s Supreme Court recently issued an order to all employers of illegal immigrants to pay a retroactive 20% tax, imposing a serious financial burden for many small businesses.

A 2014 state comptroller report exposed potentially dangerous consequences of this lack of policy. These include illegal construction and infrastructure that poses security risks in dense urban areas and a lack of access to proper health and housing needs for immigrants. Policy solutions so far, including a law on “illegal migrants” that focuses on barriers, detention centers and transfer agreements, deal with a small portion of the estimated immigrant population and neglect its weakest members such as battered women, victims of human trafficking and children. Furthermore, since these immigrants are not officially recognized, it is unlikely that a policy for monitoring and facilitating their inclusion will be developed.

In February 2016, the Knesset passed the government’s fourth policy in the last few years addressing African migrants who arrive in Israel illegally. The policy permits the placement of migrants in a combination of closed and open detention centers for up to 12 months. Recently, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against deportation of illegal migrants to a third country, thus making this practice legal.

There are approximately 40,000 illegal immigrants in Israel. In December 2017, the Knesset approved a new program backed by the Netanyahu government paving the way for forced deportations beginning in April 2018.

In the last significant wave of Jewish immigration during the 1990s, the vast majority of immigrants came from the former USSR and Ethiopia. Since cultural barriers create challenges for integration into Israeli society, the state offered a wide support infrastructure through education and employment programs, legal aid and so forth. The Jewish Agency, a statutory authority, is responsible for Jewish immigrants’ welfare as they arrive, while providing them with financial aid during the implementation of immigrant policies is the responsibility of the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Policies in recent years have mainly included tax breaks and subsidies. Individual committees have been formed to study the social aspects of immigration, with the aim of improving working methods. However, as noted by the Knesset’s Committee for “immigration, absorption and diaspora affairs,” a relatively small proportion of these committees’ recommendations is implemented.

Since the big wave of immigration in the 1990s, the majority of the new immigrants have been integrated into the community in what is called a “direct integration track.” More than 1 million immigrants have been dealt with in this way. This track represented a privatization of immigrant absorption, and a major change in the policies relating to immigrant rights.

Citations:
Bar-On, Guy, “The Only Country that Fines Refugees,” The Marker, 24.9.2017, https://www.themarker.com/opinion/1.4461484

“Enlarged assistance to native Ethiopians,” The Ministry of Construction and Housing website (Hebrew)

“Foreigners who cannot be deported from Israel,” State comptroller, 2014 (Hebrew): http://www.mevaker.gov.il/he/Reports/Report_248/af07752c-7845-4f1d-ae97-23c45c702624/102-ver-5.pdf

Leshem, Elazar, “The Reform in the Absorption Policy”16.8.2007, http://taubcenter.org.il/wp-content/files_mf/h2007_immigrant_integration32.pdf

Lior, Ilan, “Israel Jails Hundreds of African Asylum-Seekers Without Trial Every Year,” Haaretz 24.9.2017,https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.813781

Rosenberg, David, “Israel prepares to deport African infiltrators, issues warnings,” 04.02.2018, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/241542

Kershner, Isabel, “Israel Moves to Expel Africans. Critics Say That’s Not Jewish“, 02.02.2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/world/middleeast/israel-migrants-african.html

Safe Living

#30

How effectively does internal security policy protect citizens against security risks?

10
 9

Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks very effectively.
 8
 7
 6


Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks more or less effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens against security risks.
 2
 1

Internal security policy exacerbates the security risks.
Safe Living Conditions
6
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) manages the internal-security field in conjunction with the armed forces and other government agencies such as “Rachel” (emergency) and “Malal” (terrorism prevention). Following an alteration in its title (from the Ministry of the Police), the MPS has broadened its scope, and is now in charge of crime prevention, the prison system, gun control, prevention of terrorist acts and fire-prevention policies. Reforms have sought to integrate the country’s various agencies dealing with security issues, and in 2013 the MPS reported some accomplishments. For example, the Firearm Licensing Department (2011), the Israel Fire and Rescue Services (2011) and the Israel Anti-Drug Authority have all been successfully integrated into this ministry, improving coordination capabilities. In 2016, the government accepted the MPS suggestion to establish a national program to prevent cybercrime and internet violence against children and it works since then.

Notwithstanding occasional acts of terrorism, Israelis still report that they feel generally secure. According to the most recent crime-victimization survey, 81% of adults 20 years old and above feel safe walking alone in the streets.

Since Israel’s internal-security budget is divided between different agencies, and cannot be separated from the defense budget managed by the Ministry of Defense, it is hard to estimate the country’s overall internal-security expenditure. Although the Ministry of Public Security’s budget has increased in recent years, this is at least partly due to the expansion of the ministry’s responsibilities, and not due to increased investment or policy implementation.

Citations:
“A View on MPS 2016,” http://mops.gov.il/Documents/Publications/HofeshHamaida/summeryreport2016.pdf

Israel’s Crime Victimization Survey 2015, CBS,
http://www.cbs.gov.il/publications16/1653_bitachon_ishi_2015/pdf/intro_e.pdf

Kubovich, Y., “98% of sexual harassment victims in Israel don’t complain to police according to Gov’t poll,” 5.5.2015, Haaretz: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.654825

“National violence index 2014,” the Ministry of Public Security publication February 2014 (Hebrew). “Safety: Better life index Israel,” OECD. http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/israel/

Global Inequalities

#36

To what extent does the government demonstrate an active and coherent commitment to promoting equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries?

10
 9

The government actively and coherently engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. It frequently demonstrates initiative and responsibility, and acts as an agenda-setter.
 8
 7
 6


The government actively engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. However, some of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 5
 4
 3


The government shows limited engagement in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. Many of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute (and often undermines) efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries.
Global Social Policy
4
Israeli policy regarding global inequalities mainly consists of offering assistance in humanitarian, medical and financial aid to developing countries during emergencies. In recent decades, this aid has been expanded to technological and agricultural knowledge-sharing. For example, in May of 2016, the Ministry of Economy and the Israel National Cyber Bureau organized a workshop to teach and share the country’s cybersecurity expertise with developing countries (such as Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, India, Zambia, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire and Montenegro). The government’s Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV) oversees cooperation with other developed countries, and is responsible for launching emergency-assistance missions.

Although Israel has signed a number of international cooperation agreements with parties such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), it is not considered to be a leader or an agenda setter with regard to global fair-trade policies. However, it is improving its regulatory structure to reflect international trade agreements and WTO standards. In response to the 2011 social protests, it dismantled some import barriers and has begun to eliminate and reduce import duties on items such as electrical appliances, textiles and apparel, and recently, many food items.

Citations:
Hayut, Ilanit, “Israeli gov’t expands meat imports to spur competition” Globes, 24.03.2016, http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-govt-expands-meat-imports-to-spur-competition-1001112370

“Israel and World Bank Group sign agreement to share innovative best practices in water,” The World Bank website 17.6.2015: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/06/17/israel-world-bank-group-agreement-innovative-best-practices-water

“Israel shares cybersecurity expertise with World Bank client countries,” The World Bank Website, 22.6.2016: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2016/06/22/israel-shares-cybersecurity-expertise-with-world-bank-client-countries
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