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.