Nir Barkat
Nir BarkatYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Economy Minister Nir Barkat (Likud) on Wednesday spoke in the Knesset plenum about the need for foreign workers and the issue of bringing laborers from the Palestinian Authority to work in pre-1967 Israel.

"If you are a businessman in Israel, today you are completely dependent on bringing in workers through the State," Barkat explained.

"The moment you give the businessmen the ability to do so, they know how to reach manpower abroad. You shorten the processes, self-regulation. They will declare that they meet the goal because they are not going to randomly bring in unskilled laborers, and this way we can pass the burden of importing from the government to the business sector.

"The moment the burden passes to the business sector, we can streamline processes and supervise. The government will become regulatory instead of executive."

Barkat then stressed that Israel "should not bring in Palestinian workers to work in Israel. We are not the Palestinians' employment organizers."

"I believe that we need to bring workers from peaceful countries - from India, from Sri Lanka, from Europe, from Africa," he said. "A country with which we have peaceful relations, countries which we can ensure that the workers who come to work in Israel will return to their countries of origin - and that is very important. The Israeli citizen should not have to worry."

"Just like today, a Palestinian who murders a Jew receives a million dollars while he sits in prison, Israelis should not have to fear the Palestinian who wanders the streets and who was taught from a young age that he should murder Jews and that if he does murder a Jew he will receive a million dollars. This is unthinkable.

"Therefore, we need to increase the number of workers who come from peaceful countries," he stressed.