• Issue: July 1986
  • Designer: R. Dayagi
  • Stamp size: 51.4 x 20 mm
  • Plate no.: 17
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

From the dawn of history, Man has been aware of the natural differences between himself and others. Expressions of contempt for people of other races are to be found in the earliest writings but this contempt was generally based on differences of culture, such as the attitude of the Greeks towards the "barbarians" or on differences in religion.

What kept these attitudes in check and prevented their being expressed in acts of active enmity was the geographic distance separating the various races. However, this distance steadily diminished as advanced means of transportation were developed and members of the white race fanned out from Europe to all parts of the globe. When the whites' feelings of supremacy and contempt were combined with a desire to take over the treasures and lands of other races, the world witnessed terrible acts such as the slaughter of Indians on the American continent; the capture of blacks in Africa and their transportation to the American colonies to serve as slaves (if they were fortunate enough to survive the sea-journey).

It was in the 19th century that dangerous trends began to develop, with the emergence of theories of racial superiority in which it was claimed that there were intrinsic differences between members of the different races which were based on their genetic make-up. Worst of all, these theories distinguished between races of superior and inferior beings, but the authors of these theories got their biology mixed up and based their categories not on physical characteristics but on linguistic differences thus creating an lndio-European race, a Semitic race, a Slavic race, etc.

At the same time, traditional Christian anti-semitism gave way to a far more menacing form of anti-semitism - racial anti-semitism. The Jews were seen to be an inferior race whose members could not divest themselves of their negative characteristics; religious conversion could no longer save the persecuted and the suffering; their inferiority was absolute.

This attitude formed the basis of the theories preached by anti-semitic circles in various European countries, and reached its satanic peak in the German Nazi party which, upon assuming power, deprived the German Jews of their citizenship, forbade marriage and sexual relations between Germans and Jews, persecuted the Jews and finally embarked on the systematic extermination of European Jewry.

In spite of this painful historical experience, racism has not completely disappeared from our world. There are still countries which discriminate against a section of their population on racial grounds and deny them their political and human rights.

From its very inception Zionism has negated every expression of racism. The State of Israel proclaimed its credo in its Declaration of Independence which declares "that the State of Israel... will ensure complete equality of social and political rights for all its citizens, irrespective of religion, race or sex... " Israel has consistently reaffirmed this credo in spite of the wars forced upon it by the Arab States and despite the racist terror campaign waged against Israelis and Jews by the Arab terrorist organizations. The State of Israel will continue to stand by this principle of. faith even when marginal groups from within arise to challenge it. This stamp is issued by the Philatelic Services of the Ministry of Communications to honour the fight against racism and to encourage tolerance and respect, regardless of creed and colour, for Man who was created in the image of God.

top top 

No to racism