58 thoughts on “Israel’s Currency Excludes Mizrahim, Palestinians; Gives Short Shrift to Women – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.

  1. ‘It features the faces of a tired, bearded old man and his pensive, comforting grand-daughter who’ve been driven from their home during the Nakba’

    Great idea. It should be on the most commonly used denomination of currency as well so that it is unavoidable for the Nakba-deniers

  2. I have two suggestions for Israeli Palestinians: Tawfiq Zayyad5Ziad), the poet and mayor of Nazareth for more than 20 years, Zayyad was still mayor when he died in a car accident in the Jordan Valley in July 1994 on his way home from welcoming Yasser Arafat back from exile. Zayyad was a member of the 8th-13th Knesset without interruption (Rakah 1973-1977) and Hadash (1977-1994)
    Or his friend Tawfiq Toubi, the last surviving member of the first Knesset, and the longest serving member ever if I remember correctly. Tawfiq Toubi was a member of the 1st-12th Knesset without interruption (Maki 1949-1965, Rakah 1965-1977, Hadash 1977-1990). He died in March 2011 at the age of 88.

    “Here We Shall Stay” by Tawfiq Zayyad would be a perfect poem to reproduce on the new currency:
    “In Lydda, Ramleh, and the Galilee / Here We Shall Stay /Like a brick wall upon your breast / And in your throat like a splinter of glass / And in your eyes a chaos of fire/
    Here We Have a Past….a Present….a Future”
    The original in Arabic is on adab.com

    1. So glad you made those suggestions & thanks for offering one of Toubi’s poems. If there were any justice, of course, they’d include Darwish as one of the greatest poets of his generation, not just Israeli-Palestinian or even Israeli, but universal.

  3. Richard, you manage to construe every choice Israel makes in the worst possible light. Might Golda Meir be chosen because she was a very important political leader? No, must be a “sop to women”. As for Leah Goldberg and Rachel, you can barely stomach to credit Israel for publicly recognizing significant (male and female) cultural figures. Must be “a bone to feminists”. Somehow, you think it’s ironic to honor cultural figures who aren’t “bankers”, but your criticism is, as usual, conveniently limited to Jewish Israelis. Is your “a tired, bearded old man” a banker? Is Toubi? If Israel did put an Arab face on its currency, you would surely interpret it as a token Arab face just as you dismiss the three women added. And if that particular Arab wasn’t sufficiently anti-Zionist, I have no doubt you’d find a cynical explanation for that as well.

    1. You want credit because Israeli currency now features a grand total of FOUR (4) women??! While it features something like 20 Ashkenazi males?? What credit is due here?

      If they can honor a sublime poet like Rachel then they can surely honor a victim of Nakba.

      You have no idea what I would do or say if Israel put a Palestinian face on its currency. Instead of whining about it, just do it. THen you can see what my response would be. Now tell me if you’re going to protest the exclusion of Israeli Palestinians from the currency. If you’re not you’re a flaming hypocrite.

      you dismiss the three women added.

      Only two, not three.

      I’m not anti-Zionst dufus, and do NOT mischaracterize my views ever! If you don’t know what my views are, don’t even try. If you think you know, you clearly don’t.

      1. Again with the name-calling. Richard, I never called you anti-Zionist and didn’t mischaracterize your views. I referred to Israel putting an Arab on its currency who wasn’t anti-Zionist. I thought your response would be cynical, but on that point, I’m happy to be wrong.

        Instead of whining about it, just do it. THen you can see what my response would be.

        Do what exactly? Do you think I’m personally responsible for something? Is there something specific you’d like me to do?

        You want credit because Israeli currency now features a grand total of FOUR (4) women??! While it features something like 20 Ashkenazi males?? What credit is due here?

        Who said I want credit? I didn’t even say Israel should get credit for adding two female poets. I took issue with your comments that even when Israel does something you would deem worthwhile (e.g., adding culturally significant figures), you go out of your way to minimize and devalue it. You’re obviously welcome to criticize Israel for only having four women on its currency. But you want to go further than that. For you, any women featured on the currency has to be disingenuous. That’s why Golda Meir and Henrietta Szold are “a sop to women”, and Leah Goldberg and Rachel, “a bone to feminists” and “at best, ironic”.

        1. @djf: When you said that I wouldn’t approve of a Palestinian placed on Israeli currency unless he was “anti-Zionist,” you implied that I was anti-Zionist.

          If you believe a Palestinian should be on the currency, then take action and make those views known. If you don’t do anything to support this then we’ll know you for what you are.

          It is Israel that has systematically minimized and devalued the contributions of women, Mizrahim, & Palestinians to its society. I’m just the messenger. If you don’t want to hear my criticisms then change society. If you don’t, then stop whining about what I say.

  4. I think you miss the boat by at least a mile.
    The criteria of the committee was people who contributed to the Zionist creation of the state of Israel through their contribution to the Israeli music, while residing in Israel.. That criteria disqualifies Arabs and any Mizrahi song writers who didn’t reside in the state of Israel.
    I have no idea why you attribute any racism to that criteria, Would you be supportive of a decision to display the picture of Israel presidents on Israeli currency, or do you think that the American decision to do the same is a racist decision ?

    1. There was no mention of any of these criteria in the Haaretz article. Can you offer proof of yr claim? Besides, they were poets not musicians. Their words were set to music by others. So the criteria if what you claim is accurate, makes no sense. Further, the words of many Israeli Palestinian poets have been set to music.

      I have no idea what “contributing to the Zionist creation of the State of Israel” means except that it’s more racist blather used to exclude Palestinians from their homeland and patrimony.

      The U.S. has never changed the pictures used on its paper currency. So while I would like other/different images used, this is a hard & fast tradition that isn’t broken. But our coins definitely include many American heroes who are women including Susan B. Anthony, Sacajawea, etc. Look through this list & you will find images of African-Americans, women & Native Americans.

      1. Stop reading Haaretz then – http://glz.co.il/1189-16773-he/Galatz.aspx
        This is an interview with Judge Tirkel who was the head of the committee what he’s saying i mentioned above. The committee was looking for recent times poets who reside in Israel.

        What you attribute to racism is considered the biggest change of in the Jewish mindset which transpired into the creation of the Jewish political movement – The Zionism which led to the rebirth of the state of Israel. It has absolutely nothing to do with racism unless you wish to argue that Zionism is a racist movement. I think the UN retreated that statement already.

        1. I’ve just read Turkel’s interview & it’s racist through & through. He calls the criticism of the lack of Mizrahi figures “tasteless” & justifies his view by saying he looks at his grandchildren & “can’t tell what they are.” You conveniently focussed on only one aspect of his interview, & not the most damaging part.

    2. While residing in Israel. Hmmmm…

      Shaul Tchernichovsky born in Ukraine 1875, moved to Palestine in 1931, died 1943. In Palestine 12 years.
      Nathan Alterman born in Poland 1910, moved to Palestine in 1925, died 1970. In Palestine/Israel 45 years.
      Leah Goldberg born 1910 in Germany, moved to Palestine in 1935, died 1970. In Palestine/Israel 35 years.
      Rachel Bluwstein (obviously the Rachel meant) born in Russia 1890, moved to Palestine in 1909, died 1932. In Palestine 23 years.

      By the way we Finns (Christians) are also a minority of Israel. Why not use a Finnish poet in Israeli bills? Or Drew Bundini Brown who was a convert to Judaism and wrote poems and speeches to Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) besides helped him to train. A good American addition to that very international crowd: Russians, Germans/Lithuanians, Poles, Ukrainians in Israeli money. One of Brown’s lines: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, your hands can’t hit what your eyes can’t see.
      One problem – Brown has a wrong skin color for the “chosen” Israelis. A serious handicap in that liberal, equal, religiously tolerant and international society.

  5. One one hand, I agree with Richard’s point here, on the other, I am uneasily aware that there aren’t exactly a lot of Natives, Black people and women on US currency either.

    1. There are on U.S. coins, but not on paper currency, which only features presidents. Hopefully, before the end of my life there will both a woman president and a woman president featured on our paper currency.

      1. You wrote that US paper currency only features presidents, but this is not accurate.

        The most obvious non-president on US paper currency is Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.

        1. Also Benjamin Franklin on the $100. There are women and natives on coins, but these rarely circulate and the Sacajawea and Anthony dollars are generally considered failures. The real embarassment is Andrew Jackson on the 20.

      1. Sorry, Salmon P. Chase. There are three paper bills that
        have portraits of none presidents as many have pointed out. Chase,
        Hamilton and Franklin. The portraits are chosen by the secretary of
        treasury and the only rule is that he be deceased. A decision was
        made by a committee of the treasury in 1929 to include mostly
        presidents but again there is no law or rule mandating this. They
        could have chosen a woman or African American or even a picture
        depicting the Trail of Tears but they chose not to. The images
        today on the paper currency have not been changed since 1929, again
        the secretary of treasury could have changed the image since then
        to a woman or African American or to one depicting the Trail of
        Tears if he wanted to (perhaps with the agreement of

        1. The last bill featuring Salmon Chase was produced in 1946 and $10,000 bills are no longer printed. There are only 300 in circulation. And then there were two…As I said, they are the exception that proves the rule.

    1. It’s Salmon P. Chase. At least it was the last time I read Gore Vidal’s “Lincoln”, ;-). But I’ll let it slide. I mean who names their kid after a fish anyway? lol

      1. Indeed, Salmon Chase was Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury. He plays a prominent role in the film, Lincoln. He also founded what eventually became Chase Bank, which is now JPMorgan Chase.

  6. RS: “UPDATE: There are two historical Sefardim featured on Israeli currency, Moses Montefiore and Maimonides. Though neither was known primarily, or recognized for their Mizrahi heritage.”

    I know it’s not the main point here, but Moses Montefiore was hardly “mizrahi” but rather “sfaradi”, the difference being the “westernised sfaradim” being a virtual aristocracy amongst Jews (especially the English sfaradi community). Aside from similarities in their prayers they are as related to “mizrahim” as are ashkenazim.

    As for Maimonides, he is definately considered “mizrachi”, no ashkenazi “posek halacha” (religious lawmaker) will determine by his rulings unless he is the only classical source available, and only the Yemanite Jews follow his rulings as uniquely authoritative.

  7. Richard……is this all you have to do?…..what about that poor father of five that was knifed to death…..by a Arab who woke up ….and thought I will kil a Jew today…and does….you are one sick puppy

    1. That “poor father of five”, Borovzky (another Russian….) was a settler, and one of the most fanatic ones. He lived inYitzhar, the most violent settlement in all of the West Bank (cf. “When Settlers Attack” by The Jerusalem Fund, on the net, good maps and very good general information about the settlements). Yitzhar is the place where rabbis Yizthak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur – the authors of “The King’s Torah” – live and brain-wash students in their yeshiva. The thugs living in Yitzhar are a daily threat to the indigenous Palestinians, they beat them up, burn their crops, steal their land.
      YOU are the sick one around here: that “Arab” didn’t kill a Jew, he killed an intruder, living on his land, participating in the ethnic cleansing that Israel has implemented for the last 65 years.

      1. Disgusting dehumanization of “settlers”. Thats practically genocidal. Youre talking about human beings, the vast majority of whom get along fine with Palestinians, including in Yitzhar. It is sickening of you to bring up an inaccurate generalization like that to explain the murder of a father of five. One can disagree with Jews living in the West Bank without justifying their murder. That only leads to more bloodshed, and certainly will not convince Jews in the West Bank to leave! If anything they’ll found a new settlement named after him. I’m surprised Richard hasn’t flagged this. Also you omit that he was murdered at a bus stop and the Palestinian had no idea where Evyatar was from. But he was obviously a Jew and that was enough.

        1. Yitzhar & the surrounding Palestinians villages have a long history of bloodshed & enmity. Yitzhar residents have murdered & maimed many Palestinians over the years. We’ve been through this history before. While I don’t approve the murder of anyone, declaring the residents of Yitzhar to be fine upstanding citizens is patently false. It is one of the most virulent settlements of the entire lot.

        2. Yeah, “genocidal”, that’s the way you described the last bombing of Gaza too, wasn’t it ? Your quote marks on settlers tell us about everything we have to know.
          And if “the vast majority get along fine with the Palestinians”, why don’t Israel let Palestinians move into Israel proper too, after all that’s where many of them were kicked out from by other Borovzky’s…..

          On the net, you’ll find numerous videos showing the settler thugs from Yitzhar attacking the surrounding Palestinian villages, Madama, Burin, Urif, Asira al-Qibliya. Even one where rabbi Yitzhak Shapira is seen encouraging his “boys” setting fire to the crops, filmed on Shabbath (by Sarit Michaeli from B’Tselem, I think). Richard wrote a post about one of these attackson Asira al-Qibliya last spring, you’ll find pictures and footage showing settlers firing live ammunition on the villagers, while soldiers look on.
          Here’s Noam Sheizaf with videos from villages close to Yitzhar, look at the one where the Cossacks invade Urif. Sure looks like “they get along fine with the Palestinians”.

          1. what I see in this video is a bunch of stupid hotblooded teens throwing stones in the wake of a grisly murder of an innocent person by a Palestinian terrorist. And palestinians throw rocks like this all the time against Jews. You can’t judge the day to day life of Jews and Arabs in the territories based on videos like this, anymore than an average day in “east” Jerusalem based on a video of Arabs throwing stones. Furthermore, the dispute over the West Bank is real, and experts on int’l law agree that Israel has a good case(see also the recent court case in France about the light rail being sued by Palestinian groups. They concluded that Israeli control of the WB is legal). But even if you disagree, you must acknowledge that there is a dispute, and therefore immoral of you to choose one view to justify to yourself the killing of innocent people.

            So my initial point stands: your dehumanization of thousands of people, to explain the murder of a father, is sickening. Evyatar Borovsky never committed any crime, yet you are justifying his

          2. @BruceT: No one outside of Israel agrees that the Occupation is legal. There are selected pro-Israel international law experts (a handful) who act as Israel surrogates in making such an argument. Aside from them, there is virtually no one in the world who believes this way.

            As for who’s injuring whom more–the percentage of Palestinian civilians killed by the IDF is six times as high as the percentage of Israeli civilians killed by Palestinian militants. Unlike you, we know where blame belongs. Only someone as deluded as you can believe Israel’s sins are minor and forgivable while Palestine’s are monstrous.

          3. @ BruceT
            “Furthermore the dispute over the West Bank is real, and experts on international law agree that Israel has a good case (see also the recent court case in France. (……) They concluded that Israeli control of the WB is legal)”
            What a joke you are ! Do you think we’re all as brain-washed as you ? Only super-Zionist ‘experts’ on internatinal law agree that ‘Israel has a case’ (did you pick that from Alan Dershowitz’ ‘A Case For Israel’ ?). Everyone else agree that the West Bank is under occupation, including the UN.
            Concerning your hasbara on the court case in France, too bad, I live in France and have followed the case from back in 2007 when France-Palestine sued Veolia/Alstom. I also read the court judging last week, and this has absolutely NOTHING to do with “Israeli control of the WB being legal”. Do you think a minor court in Versailles rules on international law ? The court ruled that Veolia/Alstom , both French companies, did not break any French laws by participating in the construction of the rail in East Jerusalem. Give me a hint if you want me to post the court ruling.

            What you see in the video are settlers, probably from Yitzhar, invading Urif and terrorizing the local population. There are dozens of others on the net, showing them setting the crops on fire. Why don’t you find the article by Richard about Asira al-Qibliya last spring, and give us a feed back on “what you see” particularly in one of the videos that I posted in the comment thread. That settler firing live bullets, wounding a young man while IDF-soldiers look on.
            Everyday somewhere in the West Bank the indigenous Palestinian population is harassed by settler thugs, many of them not even born in the Middle East, and by the mere fact of setting down in the West Bank, particularly in Yitzhar, no settler is an innocent civilian (I’m talking about adults). Get the hell out of the West Bank that’s all I have to say.

          4. Can you read this headline? “La Cour d’appel de Versailles (OLP c/ Alstom et Veolia) conclut que l’occupation par Israël n’est pas illégale”

            Here’s the link:

            The rest of your post is a bunch of ad hominems and links to more videos that are not indicative of anything in terms of how Jews and Arabs get along on a typical day, and nonsense about “indigenous” vs “immigrants” (you sound like the BNP or The National Front!”) and videos taken out of context. You didn’t even indicate in your earlier post about the teen hooligans that it occurred AFTER and IN RESPONSE to the murder of Evyatar Borovsky.

          5. In fact the whole modus operandi of you pro-Palestinian types is taking things out of context, and ignoring larger geo-political realities; this is exemplified by your avatar Deir Yassin, an event which occurred within the context of the 1948 war. But that is a pesky detail to you, so you remove that reality and parade it about as an example of a “massacre” driven by “Zionist racism”, comparing it to the pogroms against the Jews, instead of what it really was. Because, you know, Jews weren’t waging war against Europe when the pogroms happened. And Europe was not a small country surrounded by Jewish kingdoms and dictatorships, with it’s own Jewish population that identifies with and supports those outside countries. But that is just that “pesky” context again, which people usually use to form interpretations and judgements of events.

          6. @ Bruce Lee
            As I said, you’re a big joke. You post a link to dreuz.info, a ultra-zionist, neo-conservative site. Bat Yeor is writing there, and she’s probably the most ‘left-wing’ of them all. It’s Anders Behring Breivik without a gun !
            As I said, the court ruling has nothing to do with the occupation itself.
            ‘France-Palestine’, a French association fighting for the implementation of international law started a lawsuit againt the tramway project in 2007 and decided to take legal actions against Alstom/veolia on the ground that those companies were violating international law by participating in the construction of the tramway. The Cour d’Appel de Versailles rules that a French private association can’t take legal actions against another French institution/person/organization/entreprise based on international law. Only private persons directly concerned can take legal actions.
            Here Le Monde:
            “La cour d’Appel de Versailles a confirmé la décision de première instance qui avait rejetté le fait qu’une personne privée française (l’association) ne pouvait en poursuivre une autre (l’entreprise) sur la base du droit international public. A moins que des personnes privée directement concernées ne soient plaignantes”
            In order not to block the comment, I don’t post the whole link:

            Here’s the whole court ruling. Could you please indicate where there’a anything mentioned about “Israeli control of the WB is legal”. Take your time.

            The rest of your comment is off topic but that’s typical hasbara.

          7. PS. Just to give you an idea of what a shitty site you linked too: if you go to their English section, you’ll find an article on “Hussein Obama”. Says it all.

          8. The technicalities of the case are not what’s important. Rather it is the
            implications from it, which the article at dreuze nicely sums up, irrespective
            of the site’s overall political views. I wouldn’t discount an article from
            Haaretz, 972 or even counterpunch and the nation because of its views. It goes
            based on the merits of the individual argument, otherwise you commit a basic
            logical fallacy.

            For proof of how you ignore and invent context to suit
            your purposes, just compare your views concerning the videos
            you linked to with your views on the videos of IDF
            soldiers being beaten on the Mavi Marmara. It makes
            my argument for me.

            You can’t get a sense of daily life in the territories from these
            videos. Your views of “settlers” are as jaundiced and twisted as
            any Kahanists views of Arabs. And your call to “get the hell out of the
            West Bank” — what the hell does that mean? Do you realiZe what you
            are saying? How such rhetoric contributes to the conflict? Then you turn
            around and ask yourself why these teen hooligans do the things they do.
            Jews live legally in the West Bank, and the settlement are fully legal.
            The so-called settlements are home to hundreds of thousands of Jews, who
            just want to get on with their lives. But with peoplel like you, who
            want them ethnically cleansed from their homes, don’t you think that will
            contribute to anger from their side, and then lead to increased tensions
            and conflict? You have only yourself to blame then, and don’t post or link
            to any more such videos which document the behavior that intransigents like
            you created.

          9. @ Bruce Lee
            After your BS on the “vast majority of whom get along fine with the Palestinians, including in Yitzhar” and your lies about the court ruling in Versailles that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the occupation itself, I’m not going to waste more time on you. I guess you didn’t find anything in that court ruling that I posted to support your claim, Hasbara Central can’t invent everything, can they ?

  8. Regarding the list you gave: “Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin and four poets. They are Shaul Tchernichovsky, Natan Alterman, Leah Goldberg and Rachel” it is wrong.
    The new currncey will be as follows –
    20 NIS – Rachel Bluwstein (1890-1931) born in Russia
    50 NIS – Shaul Tchernichovsky (1875-1943) born in Russia
    100 NIS – Leah Goldberg (1911-1970) born in (today) Lithuania
    200 NIS – Nathan Alterman (1910-1970) born in Poland
    Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin are not included in the comeing currncy.
    All 4 people are important Israeli poets/journalists/authors (“not bankers”). To say that Rachel and Goldberg are a strange choice just shows a lack of understanding to their character and to what they represent in Israel.
    To keep count – 50% (2 out of 4) are women (not mere trifle).
    About the palestinians and Mizrahim aspect I don’t have much to add – they could (and should) have found an appropriate person to add (though I disagree, respectfully, with your suggestion of the adding the “victim of Nakba” – there are plenty of distinguished Israeli arabs and Mizrahim to choose from ).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link