Begin Family Opposes Late PM's Image on New Israeli Bills

Benny Begin: The family expressed opposition to the new bills six months ago, and when hearings were convened, no one turned to us.

The family of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin is opposed to Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer's decision to issue a bill with a portrait of the deceased leader.

Minister Benny Begin stated on Sunday evening that his family expressed their opposition to the new bills six months ago. He said that after months of discussions with the Bank of Israel, the family was not consulted in the final decision to issue the bills.

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Legally, the bank does not have to consult with the Begin family ahead of issuing the bills.

Fischer had called the Begin family over the weekend and discussed the matter at hand with Benny Begin, who again voiced his objection. The Bank of Israel governor also decided to issue bills with portraits of Yitzhak Rabin, Shai Agnon, and the poet Rachel.

Officials at the Finance Ministry were surprised by Fischer's decision. They had lobbied for more women and intellectuals to appear on new bills.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) vowed to vote against the measure next week. Also, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) stated her opposition to the proposed bills and demanded that another woman be added to the list.

In response, Governor Fischer stated that it was important to highlight the nation's leaders for future generations. He also thanked members of the committee, headed by retired Supreme Court justice Jacob Turkel, who helped advise the governor regarding the new bills.