A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, December 17, 2009

For '70s and '80s Nostalgia Buffs: Rabin and Begin to Appear on Israeli Currency

For those of us like me with far clearer memories of the 70's and 80's than some earlier decades, it's interesting that Israel is changing who appears on the currency. Joining the list are Yitzhak Rabin and Menahem Begin. Rabin of course is the only assassinated Prime Minister; Begin, though once a wanted man (Ben-Gurion would be shocked), made peace with Egypt, and if you add a dead Labor PM you probably have to add a dead Likud PM as well.

Leaving the banknotes will be Moshe Sharett (ex-PM), Yitzhak Ben-Zvi (ex-President), and S. Y. Agnon (great literary figure, 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature). Unless you're my age and know Israeli history pretty well you won't recognize the first two names. Agnon I've heard of but never read.

The third new addition will be Theodor Herzl. I don't know why but I could have sworn he already appeared on the currency. Maybe in an earlier period and he's making a comeback?


Abu 'Arqala said...

Herzl was on at least the 100 Lirot Note 1968, the 100 Lirot Note 1973, the 10 Shegalim in 1978.

Golda Meir, Sir Moshe Montefiore, Baron Rothschild, Ze'ev Jabotinsky (1978), Albert Einstein with an atomic reactor in 1968 (!) are others who have appeared.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Thanks. I was certain I'd seen Herzl on money before. I'm just dating myself.