Knesset Meeting on Arab Employment in High-Tech

​The Science and Technology Committee, chaired by MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash-Ta’al), and the Special Committee on Young Israelis, chaired by MK Naama Lazimi (Labor), held a joint meeting on Tuesday to discuss ways to increase the employment of Arab workers in the high-tech sector.

MK Ayman Odeh during the meeting on ways to increase the employment of Arab workers in the high-tech sector, June 13, 2023 (Photo: Knesset)

MK Odeh said, “Over the past 20 years, gaps have started to grow within Arab society. Any success is welcome, but there are those who remain behind. The violence is a result of economic gaps, among other things. The Government has good plans, but they are not enough. Fifty percent of young Arabs who are prosecuted are idle, and this has to change.” The high-tech industry, he said, can help narrow these gaps

MK Lazimi agreed, “The state budget that was passed recently embodies discrimination against Arab society. High-tech is a tool for shared life, but it is not enough. The committees request that the Ministry of Education invest in science and technology studies as main subjects. We call upon the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Science and Technology to encourage the high-tech industry to integrate the Arab population.”    

David Perlmutter, chair of the Public Council for Promoting Hi-Tech in Arab Society in Israel, said “One of Israel’s missions is to enhance digitization. The pace of the changes demand special capabilities, a different way of thinking. Military service has immense importance in the development of capabilities and qualifications that cannot be developed [in civilian life].”   

Former Hadash chair in Na’amat, Histadrut women’s movement, Maisam Jaljuli, now the CEO of Tsofen – Building High-Tech in Arab Society, said “Arab society is only mentioned in reference to difficulties and challenges, crime and violence. Most people in Arab society do not see high-tech people in their surroundings, and they have no role models. The data show that the chances a young Jewish person from a weak economic background has of being employed in high-tech are five times greater than those of a young Arab person from a similar background.”