Israeli Finance Minister: Chareidim, Arabs Harming Israel’s Economy


chareidimThe Arab and chareidi communities are partly responsible for the high unemployment in Israel among their members, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told a conference on employment discrimination yesterday. Steinitz said his ministry is currently discussing ways to encourage both communities to increase their work force participation rate, which is currently significantly lower than the Israeli norm. Partly as a result, these communities are also two of Israel’s poorest.

At the conference, which took place at the Ono Academic College, Steinitz argued that the low work force participation rate of chareidi  men and Arab women is a key problem that “requires a solution, because the very low participation rate of these two groups reduces the state’s GDP,” or gross domestic product.

This low labor force participation rate cannot be blamed solely on discrimination, he added; it also stems from “cultural barriers.”

In addition, he said, there is widespread nonpayment of municipal taxes in Arab and chareidi towns, and as a result, municipal services are being slashed – which ultimately harms the residents themselves.

Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini accused the government of neglecting outlying areas of the country, which contain many Arab and chareidi towns, as well as high concentrations of Ethiopian immigrants. “Unemployment is high in the periphery because traditional industry, with no high-tech, is virtually the only thing there,” he said. “Nonpayment of wages by local authorities in the periphery is a symptom of this.”

Eini urged the government to finance clerkships in law firms for 1,000 newly certified chareidi , Arab and Ethiopian lawyers each year, to improve their chances of finding a job.

Attorney Nidal Uthman of the Mossawa Center, an Arab advocacy organization, claimed that the real problem was anti-Arab discrimination in every sector of society.

Many companies, he charged, are reluctant to employ Arabs, fearing it will damage their brand. The government itself, he added, “decided that 10 percent of those employed in its offices would be Arabs by the end of 2008, but the rate by that time had reached only 6 percent, so the deadline for reaching 10 percent was postponed to 2012.”

And Arabs, he noted, constitute 20 percent of the population.

{Yair Israel/Haaretz}


  1. Comment #1 : Obviously you have the data and research to back up your claim. Please publish this data.

    Note: I can only assume that it is the ‘American Supported, Totalitarian, capitalistic, Zionist Nazis’ in the Keneset who are bent on besmirching the good name of Charedim by aligning them to Arabs in respect to what they offer the Isreali economy. For shame….

  2. To number 2 please ur ridiclus, and u know what there are a lot of chareidim that nothing to provide for the state! – Get a job maybe whatever! Man ur an extremist!

  3. First point:How many Arabs do you know that have Jews working for them?
    Second point:how many people are considered working who are called “professors,” while those in kollel are doing the same thing ( lehavdel) , studying and learning but considered unemployed because what he is doing is not considered important ?


  5. Mr Logical,

    your knowledge of secular teriary institutions and facility members is poor

    1) Professors are only professors in one area of study e.g. law, maths, medicine,engineering or literature

    2)Professors don’t just read books, they spend most of their day providing their expertise to industry to drive innovation and creativity in their area of expertise

    Most of todays advances in all fields in industry, commerce, manufacturing, academia, medicine use the knowledge professors who explore and experiment with new ideas to then be implemented in society.

    Profeesors are sought after by the business world to provide consultative insights into solving some of their most difficult and pressing challenges

    Examples of things Religious Jews use that have siginificant inputs from professors
    1) Aeornautical Professors : to travel to yeshiva and chassanahs (financially restituted by McDonnell Douglas/ Boeing/ Airbus)
    2) food technology professors : To ensure the latest flavours in our kosher snacks are synthetic and not KOSHER (financially restituted by OSEM / Elite/ Kraft)
    3) Law professors : To define laws that are taken to government to allow for better conditions for religious inmates to be discrciminated against in the penal system(financially restituted by federal gov/ state gov/ individuals in serious trouble)
    4) Fibre Technology professors : to help provide new weaving techniques to provide feather light tallesim made of wool (financially restituted by materials manufacturers)
    5) Medical Professors : To find new drugs to help fight against every desease known to man (financially restituted by GSK/ Pfizzer)
    6) Computer professors : to help provide inputs to companies like Apple in producing iPODs and iPhones to listen to torah to as we walk off the pounds (financially restituted by IBM/ Apple/ Intel)

    B”H for these people and what they offer each and every member of humanity

    Little hard for the Israeli government to assess the impact of kollel guys learning for reward in Shomayim and how well its going up their.