New blue NIS 200 bills ready for prime time

The Bank of Israel on Monday officially unveiled its new design for NIS 200 bills, and said it would start distributing them soon.

Moshe Cohen ,

The new NIS 200 note
The new NIS 200 note
Bank of Israel

The Bank of Israel on Monday officially unveiled its new design for NIS 200 bills – a sky blue bill that will feature the image of late Israeli poet Natan Alterman. The bill, which has been long in the planning, will be introduced into the market in the coming weeks, the Bank said Monday.

The NIS 200 bill will be the second in the series of new New Shekel bills the Bank is distributing. The new bills, the Bank said, are sturdier, and contain more anti-fraud and anti-counterfeiting features. First to be introduced last year was the green NIS 50 bill.

According to Bank officials, the new designs have proven their “worth,” given the fact that in recent operations to bust counterfeiting rings, police have found fewer NIS 50 bills than in the past. The Bank said that this was due to the difficulty of counterfeiting the bills.

The new bill features Natan Alterman, “Israel's poet,” as many of the generation that formed the state referred to him. Although a socialist, Alterman after the Six Day War allied himself with MKs who advocated settling Judea and Samaria, criticizing left-leaning MKs whom he felt were in too much of a rush to surrender the land to Arab nations.

Alterman is one of several Israeli artists and poets, including Shaul Tchernikovsy (already on the NIS 50 bill), and the poet Rachel (Blobstein) to be featured on the bills. Several MKs have criticized the choices, saying they were too representative of a single group – secular Europeans.