Palestinians fight occupation with Israeli bills

Young Palestinian activists found a new medium to protest Israeli occupation.

Updated: Mar 07, 2011, 22:22 PM IST

Ramallah: Young Palestinian activists have
found a new medium to protest Israeli occupation: scrawling
anti-occupation slogans on the currency they share with the
Jewish state.

The campaign, officially announced at a press
conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah today, aims to
peacefully express opposition to Israel`s occupation.

"What we care about in this campaign is to send a
message to the Israelis and to the whole world, regardless of
how many get our message, that says we want the occupation to
end," 23-year-old activist Dina Jaber said.
Activists are calling on people to write phrases,
including "Let`s end the occupation" and "Free Palestine" on
banknotes of the Israeli currency, the shekel, which is also
used throughout the West Bank and Gaza.

But the plan was not welcomed by everyone in
Palestinian society, with the Palestinian Banking Society
warning in a statement that defaced banknotes could lose their
"With all appreciation for the good intentions of the
organisers of this initiative, the society urges all citizens
to understand the negative impact the act could have on the
Palestinian economy," the institution said.

"We inform citizens that banks operating in Palestine
are unable to accept any banknote with a slogan written on it
because it will be unable to exchange those banknotes with
Israeli banks."

Organisers of the campaign said the objections ought
to be no obstacle, and urged those worried about their money
losing value to simply write the slogans on stickers that
could be removed from the banknotes if necessary.

Jaber said activists were convinced that the campaign
could send a powerful message to Israelis and foreigners.

"We monitor Israeli media and we think that our
message is beginning to be understood: We want to end the
occupation in a peaceful manner."

Bureau Report