Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Australia Post Issues Israeli Propaganda Stamps

Just the other day I needed a postage stamp. I duly handed over my 60 cents at an Australia Post outlet and received far more than I bargained for - nothing less, would you believe, than a dollop of Israeli propaganda.

There on the stamp was the sepia-toned image of a statue of an Australian Light Horseman leaping the Turkish trenches ringing the town of Beersheba in southern Palestine in 1917. In the bottom left hand corner were the words 'Beersheba/ AUSTRALIA/ Joint Issue with Israel/ Australian Light Horse'. In the bottom right corner, in blue, were the same words in Hebrew.

For $3.60 you can buy a laminated, folded card bearing the same image beneath a scroll containing the words 'JOINT ISSUE WITH ISRAEL/ THE BATTLE OF BEERSHEBA'. Below the scroll, the same words appear in Hebrew.

Inside, the scroll reappears with the same words superimposed on an antique map of Beersheba and its environs. Again, the same Hebrew words figure prominently. Two stamps - the second, a $2.60 international issue with a different design - are enclosed in a protective plastic sheath.

On the back the following text appears. (The highlightings are mine):

"The Battle of Beersheba, which took place on 31 October 1917, was part of a wider British offensive known as the third Battle of Gaza during World War I. The final phase of this day-long battle was the famous mounted charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade, widely considered to be the last great mounted charge in military history. Although heavily outnumbered, the 4th Light Horse Brigade of the Australian Imperial Force seized the strategic town of Beersheba from the Turks. 31 Australian light horsemen were killed in the charge and 36 were wounded, while the Turkish defenders suffered many casualties and between 700 and 1,000 troops were captured. The capture of Beersheba allowed British Empire forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza and then advance into Palestine, a chain of events which eventually culminated in the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.

"The 60c stamp features a statue of an Australian Light Horseman in the Park of the Australian Soldier at Beersheba (Be'er Sheva), Israel. The statue is the work of Australian sculptor Peter Corlett and was erected with the support of the Pratt Foundation in 2008. The park features a landscaped recreation park with an innovative playground catering for the needs of children with disabilities."

I've covered the story of the shameless Zionist appropriation of this particular slice of Palestinian/Australian history - where the AIF are falsely portrayed as actors in the grand Zionist narrative of the Jewish 'return' to Eretz Israel - in several posts. For the details, simply click on the AIF label below, scroll down to Anzac Day Special: The Diggers Who Died for Israel (25/4/08), and read the lot in chronological order.

Perhaps the next time you buy stamps from Istralia Post, you could decline these two.


Paul said...

This would not be the first example of a nation retro-fitting history, but it would be among the most brazen, surpassing even the most vulgar Communist era propagandists.

Ryan said...

It's sad that the facts about Palestine are ignored by the world media and our western leaders. They justify this by claiming that our latest oppressors have been displaced from their 'home' for several centuries. They just can't grasp that Palestine has been under foreign occupation and oppression since before so-called biblical times. Surely the Palestinian people have more right to live in their ancestral homeland than a group of invaders who may have suffered at the hands of one nation in recent history.

MERC said...

Just a correction re the timing, Ryan. What concerns us all today is that the indigenous Arab population of Palestine has been subjected to a forced European immigration since the Balfour Declaration of 1917, followed by two major rounds of ethnic cleansing (in 1948 and 1967), the occupation of 78% of their homeland in 1948, and the occupation of the rest in 1967.

This near century-old, staged usurpation of the Palestinian people's ancestral homeland by European colons is arguably the worst crime ever perpetrated by British colonialism.

Anonymous said...

Fine looking stamps. Yes, it’s natural that the people of Israel wish to show their gratitude for the 1917 liberation of Palestine by British forces, including the ANZAC MOUNTED DIVISION that captured Beersheba. From ancient times the Palestine region was controlled by distant empires but since 1516 the region had been part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

MERC said...

If Palestine was "liberated" from the Turks it was so the people who lived there - around 90% non-Jews - could exercise self-determination in line with British wartime promises to them, not be subjected to forced immigration by European Jewish settlers, massive British repression, and eventually Israeli ethnic cleansing.

As for your "distant empires," none of them forcibly expelled the indigenous population, stole their land and set up an ethnographic apartheid state.

Anonymous said...

"The last cavalry charge in history. On 23 August 1942, at Izbushensky in the bend of the Don, 600 mounted men of the Savoy Cavalry [Italian] charge and rout 2,000 Russians armed with mortars and machine-guns."

This is the caption for the photograph of the event.

Page 288, 2194 Days of War,1997.
ISBN 0 7112 0005 X

Extravagant propaganda knows no bounds.

Eli said...

Thank you very much for your post. After I read it, I decided to buy several of these beautiful stamps from Australia Post and put them in my stamp album although I don't collect Australian stamps.
Please, let me return with you 4,000 years ago, the time when the history of Be'er Sheva and the history of the Jewish People in the land of Israel (What you call Palestine) started. I strongly recommend you to open the Hebrew Bible, book of Genesis and learn that the city was called Be’er Sheva by Abraham, the father and the creator of the Hebrew people. You also find the reason of the name Be’er Sheva in the same chapter.

MERC said...

So glad you liked my post, Eli. And I really enjoyed your fairy tale. But tell me pray, what exactly is your point?

Eli said...

Fairy Tale? The meaning of "Fairy tale" is an imaginary stories that people tell you to make you believe in their lies. You can find several of this kind of tales in your blog.


MERC said...

Now that's not very nice, Eli. I thought you were a nice guy who enjoyed reading my posts.

Seems I was wrong. Do all believers in fairy tales have a nasty streak or is it just you?

Eli said...


Just to convenience you that I am a nice guy, I invite you visit Israel. Come and see if your fairy tales are correct. Please, come and be my guest. Come and see a beautiful, free, democratic, open country. Come and see the Israeli Arabs which are equal part of our society, working together with the Israeli Jews to build the country. Just come...

If you decide to come, hope so, I will find the the way how to send you my email address so we can arrange the visit together. And..I forgot..If you come you also will enjoy good and tasty Israeli food!!!

Shalom and Salam Aleikum

MERC said...

Friends again? But you're so volatile! How do I know you're not going to lash out again?

And what's this? More fairy tales?

A "democratic country"?

How can that be when most of its indigenous inhabitants are living in refugee camps, denied the right to return and vote? Don't you mean a 'Jewish democracy'? Bit weird, isn't it? Sort of like 'Christian" democracy.

And "Israeli food"?

You mean Arab humus and falafal passed off as Israeli food, don't you? A bit like Arab Beersheba passed off as Beer Sheva. Or like Palestine passed off as Israel.

Tell you what, I'll come and visit you when all the Palestinian refugees have returned, the occupation's over, Israeli apartheid's just a bad dream, and everyone's really free and equal, OK? Oh, and after you've undergone anger management treatment.

Eli said...

What a disappointment!!! I thought you run to arrange your passport!!

Again, Shalom Aleichem and Salam Aleikum!!!

MERC said...

Damn! He's taken fright. My questions must've been too tough for him. And he never did get around to telling me what the point of his first comment was, dammit! Oh, well, can't win 'em all I suppose.

Hm... I hope he hasn't gone off in a huff looking for some poor Palestinian kid to lash out at.

Anonymous said...


I can imagine your fate if ever you were foolish enough to accept any of Eli's "offers".

Keep up the good work.

MERC said...

It was tough going I can tell you! Like Ulysses they had to stuff wax in my ears and tie me to the mast to avoid the temptation of his siren song.