Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said, Monday morning, "Every Jewish boy who reaches the age of 18 must serve in the army and contribute to the state of Israel, but if you ask what is the vital and urgent need of the state of Israel, it's, first of all, the integration of the hareidim into the work force." Speaking at an economic gathering in Tel Aviv, the former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee continued, "The most just solution, in my eyes, is service for everyone in the Israel Defense Forces, but the correct solution is the integration of the hareidim into the modern economy - for them and for us. Each plan that is formulated must be reasonable and rational, which contributes to Israel's economy and is not plan which is applauded at first and then it turns out that its cost did not justify the benefit."
Steinitz said it was the duty of the state to increase the participation of the hareidim and the Arabs in the labor market, adding, ""The Israeli economy will be hurt hard and we won't be able to grow at rates of 4% or more. We are already seeing the beginning of the process of integrating them at work and it must continue because if it doesn't, it will cause serious damage to the Israeli economy and Israeli citizens."