Shas party leader Aryeh Deri registered his indignation on Thursday over the government’s issuance of the new 200-shekel banknote which once again ignores the Sephardi community, featuring instead a poet of Ashkenazi origin.
“For 67 years the Mizrahi public has not been represented in state symbols in proportion to its relative population size, nor in prize committees or curricula,” he continued
“People of Mizrahi descent make up half of the Israeli population and it’s not appropriate or reasonable that they should wait dozens of years for the next round of new banknotes,” said Deri.
Deri called for a special government debate about the new bills, which are set to enter circulation next month.
Deri noted that two and a half years have passed since Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated during the April 2013 debate during which the new bills were approved, that there is also space to commemorate Sephardi poets. But no Sephardi poets have yet appeared on Israel’s banknotes.
The new money features Nathan Alterman, an Israeli poet and playwright who passed away in 1970.