AS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES, it was not until Israel made the shift from a largely agrarian-pioneer society to an urban-industrial and bureaucratic one that corporate crime and its cousin, organized crime, became an important facts of life. Until then, phenomena such as patronage, personalized and informal business and political relationships were not seen as corrupt; they were the way things were done. Moreover, because Israeli authorities have been preoccupied with national security (since the state's founding in 1948) the issues of official corruption and organized crime were rarely studied or addressed until recently. They were not first-order concerns unless they had a direct impact on national security.

Organized crime came to the fore in the 1970s with the arrival of Jews from the Soviet Republic of ...

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