The only one of the four who already appears on an existing banknote is Agnon, whose face can be seen on NIS 50 bills.
Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer made the decision after exploring candidates recommending by an advisory committee headed by retired Judge Jacob Turkel, and it is subject to the government's approval.
Fischer's decision integrates into the new series officials representing the political and cultural aspects of Israel's history – two statesmen who signed peace treaties with Israel's neighbors and two prominent figures from the literature and poetry fields.
Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday morning that Fischer met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend and received his approval for his choice, although Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz strongly objects to political leaders appearing on the new banknotes.
Steinitz was unaware of the move, and his office said in response that "the minister insists on including figures from the cultural world and not politicians in the new series, as well as women. This is an imperative condition."
The Bank of Israel governor noted in his decision that it was important to historically commemorate the nation's leaders for the sake of future generations, adding that the figures selected serve as an important lesson in the legacy of the people of Israel. Fischer thanked the advisory committee members for the time they dedicated to the matter and for their recommendations.
The Bank of Israel will issue the new series as of 2012 in bills worth NIS 20, 50, 100 and 200. The new banknotes will include security and identification marks to make it difficult to forge them.
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