(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Experts following the Israeli- Arab labor market have told The Jerusalem Post that the group has integrated almost too well into the pharmacist profession, and that there is now a need to diversify and enter other professions.
Sami Miaari, an Israeli-Arab lecturer at Tel Aviv University’s labor studies department and a research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, told the Post that Jewish pharmacists that had worked in pharmacies moved on to research positions with large pharmaceutical companies like TEVA.
Today, up to 70 percent of pharmacists at the Super- Pharm pharmacy chain are Arabs, he claimed. Although a positive development, it also demonstrates that “the big drug pharmaceutical companies are not hiring Arabs.”
The lecturer said that if one finished advanced studies at Tel Aviv University or Hebrew University, a job working for drug companies – rather than simply in retail chains – should be attainable.
Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, co-executive director of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, an NGO dedicated to improving coexistence between Israel’s Arab and Jewish citizens, told the Post that his organization conducted a study a few years ago to examine how Arabs were being absorbed into medical professions.
“The main finding was that the situation is better than in other professions, such as in education, but still has a long way to go [to achieve parity with Jewish-Israelis],” he said.
Two important factors to consider, he said, are if once Arabs enter a profession, Jews leave, and if salaries decrease.
The influx of Arab pharmacists to the retail pharmacy market has driven down wages, he said. Beeri-Sulitzeanu said that the organization will begin a program to aid Arab high school students choose a university degree that leads to a job that the market demands, he said.