Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi said the use of a portrait of poet Shaul
Tchernichovsky on the face of the new 50-shekel notes is “an outrage”
and he called for a boycott of the notes.
Ben-Artzi said Tchernichovsky was “a symbol of assimilation, of
assimilation ideology,” according to a Sept. 26 article published in
The poet, born in 1875, was said to have had a daughter, Isolda,
with Russian-born Christian Melania Karlova. Ben-Artzi is the
estranged brother of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife
Sara, according to the article.
The note will begin showing up in circulation later in 2014,
according to the Bank of Israel.
The face of the note features a portrait of Tchernichovsky along
with images of citrus fruit and leaves.
Tchernichovsky’s poem, “Oh, My Land, My Homeland,” was the
inspiration for the face design. The poem contains the words “the
bouquet of spring orchards.”
The back design shows capitals of Corinthian columns in reference to
parts of the poet’s compositions and his translation of ancient Greek literature.
In addition to a new design, the 50-shekel notes will have a new
background color — green. The color of the current design is a deep purple
New anticounterfeiting features added to the new design include the
use of color-shifting ink and latent images that can be seen only at a
The bank plans to redesign all other denominations in the future.
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