Helen Bayes (VIC) writes to Postal Ombudsman re Australia-Israel joint issue stamps 25Jun13 June 26, 2013

Postal Industry Ombudsman
GPO Box 442
Canberra ACT 2601

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to ask you to review the recent issue of stamps about Australian participation in the Beersheba offensive in 1917 and link this military action to the formation of the State of Israel.

This message given on the stamps is quite wrong.  The State of Israel was a much later outcome of many subsequent events, where other decisions regarding the movement for a Jewish homeland could have been made.

These new stamps imply that Australian military action in 1917 was in support of the young Zionist movement, which it certainly was NOT.

Thus the impression is given that Australia has long supported Zionist claims to Palestinian land, and because of the use of Hebrew and declaration that the stamp issue is a joint one with the State of Israel, it implicates Australia in Israeli Government policies regarding military occupation and blockades in the West Bank and Gaza.

As a member of the public, I want to know in what way the Israeli State or the Israeli military has negotiated the issue of these stamps.  Since it is a ‘joint’ issue, I believe the concerned public has a right to know the nature of the cooperation.  Did Israel fund it? Did Israeli authorities participate in the development of the design, wording and translation into Hebrew? Also, did Australia Post receive advice from the Australian Government about the political sensitivity of this history?  Did it obtain advice from any non-political source, which would accurately advise on present-day Palestinian and Arab perspectives?

I have asked the CEO via Twitter to withdraw the stamps immediately and to make a public apology for the insensitive, even provocative, political position, which Australia Post has taken.  I use these words

I write sincerely, in peace to you and in appreciation of the good services that Australia Post delivers,

Helen Bayes

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