Gareth Smith and Duncan Shipley-Smith
Byron Friends of Palestine
Stamps (pictured below) issued by Australia Post are based on a falsification of history because in 1917 the state of Israel did not exist, they are an example of Zionist propaganda aided and abetted by Australia Post.
Australia Post says the issue of the stamps last month was to commemorate ‘the close relationship between the countries of Israel and Australia’, which Byron Friends of Palestine says is pure propaganda and an outrage.
The Australian military had nothing whatsoever to do with the non-existent Zionist state but were part of the wider Third Battle of Gaza and the Sinai and Palestine Campaign which centred on the geo-strategic importance of the Suez Canal.
Associating the Australian military with the state of Israel through the battle of Beersheba is not only a distortion of history but a disgraceful slur on the sacrifices made by those soldiers.
No doubt the RSL will be shocked to learn that the Australian War Memorial was consulted by Australia Post so we cannot blame some historical ignoramus at Australia Post.
These stamps confer an official seal of approval on this counterfeit history and deliberately ignore the 700,000 Palestinians who were terrorised out of their homes and land.
Today, Palestinian refugees comprise nearly one third of the total refugee population and, in violation of UN General Assembly Resolutions 194 and 169 and Security Council Resolution 237, Israel prevents their return.
This was a war crime to which Australian soldiers should not be linked.
Despite these valid objections, minister Stephen Conroy said, ‘I don’t have any role in choosing what’s on stamps, but I do support this. It’s a wonderful tribute to the 4th Light Horse Brigade and recognises a chain of events that eventually culminated in the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948.’
We call on him to resign.
• Editor’s note: Australia Post’s media spokesperson told Echonetdaily that ‘The Battle of Beersheba commemorative stamps were released as part of the Australia 2013 World Stamp Expo in May, in conjunction with Israel Post. The battle information was provided by a number of sources, including the Australian War Memorial, and was fact-checked by Peter Stanley, a noted war historian’. However, Mr Stanley has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Further note: Beersheba was a Palestinian city with a population of about 4,000 at the time and the Palestinians were defending their land and had been promised independence and freedom from imperial Ottoman occupation by the British if they helped the allied forces, but as history has shown us, they were betrayed.