JERUSALEM (JTA) — A new campaign to peacefully promote an independent Palestinian state calls on people to write “Free Palestine” on Israeli currency.
The campaign was launched on Facebook over the weekend and has gained attention worldwide, according to reports, which say it is likely that “Free Palestine” will be written on other countries’ currencies as well.
Israeli shekels are used in the West Bank and Gaza.
The Facebook page “Write on coin Free Palestine Camp” was set up March 5 by two men from Ramallah, according to the page.
“The idea of ‘Write Free Palestine on Israeli paper money Campaign’ stems from our firm belief in nonviolent national resistance,” their page says. “Through this campaign, we express our resistance to the Israeli occupation and its unjust policies towards Palestinians.”
Later it says, “This is a simple, creative, nonviolent, innovative way to resist. Now you can make an actual change by simply writing ‘Free Palestine’ on Israeli paper money.”
The Facebook page had 933 likes as of Monday. At least 50 other Facebook pages are dedicated to the slogan “Free Palestine.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Banking Society warned Sunday that Israeli banks could refuse the bills with a slogan written on them, and therefore Palestinian banks also would not accept the notes, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
“With all appreciation due to the good intentions of the organizers of the initiative, the society urges all citizens to understand the negative impact the act could have on the Palestinian economy,” a statement issued Sunday from the Banking Society reportedly said, calling the plan a “costly protest.”
Bank of Israel spokesperson Yoav Soffer confirmed to JTA that it is illegal to write on Israeli currency.