1047

  • Issue: May 2018
  • Designer: Michel Kichka
  • Stamp Size: 30 mm x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 1087
  • Security mark: Microtext
  • Sheet of 6 stamps, Tabs: 6
  • Printers: Cartor Security Printing, France
  • Method of printing: Offset

Caricatures and comics have been a part of our world for many years, providing an amusing and oftentimes sarcastic look at our lives. Every self-respecting newspaper devotes space to these cheerful doodles, which are frequently thought provoking and even piercing and prickly.
In Israel, the words "comics" and "caricature" are used in Hebrew in their transliterated forms, despite past attempts to establish Hebrew terms to replace them. As part of the celebrations for Israel's 70 Years of Independence, Michel Kichka illustrated three lighthearted and humoristic stamps depicting how far the State and citizens of Israel have come from 1948 to 2018.

Establishment of the State
The first stamp takes us back to the "days of innocence", a time when the most popular vehicle was the tractor and agriculture was the top priority for Israel's heads of state and the majority of its population. Every tourist and guest was invited to see the Israeli wonder–the kibbutz. The stamp tab rounds out the periodic image: a transistor radio, which was an exciting new technological invention that did not have to be plugged into the electricity, a glass of seltzer and a falafel, the national food.

Defense and Security
The next phase began nearly twenty years later, symbolized by the armed Israeli who replaced the tractor with a military jeep. Between the mid-1960's and the mid-1980's Israel was involved in four wars: the Six Day War, the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War and the First Lebanon War. Between these wars there were oftentimes other military actions and operations as well. There were military triumphs during this period, such as the Six Day War and Operation Entebbe, but there were also wars and battles that ended with many casualties, like the Yom Kippur War. The stamp tab features symbols of the time: a black and white television with the Channel One logo, a soft drink bottle and a hamburger.

Progress and Development
And then we arrive at the turning point in the 1990's and early 2000's. The typical Israeli is now out of the car and pushing a full supermarket cart. The idealistic society that existed in the early years of the country and was enlisted in the following years made way for an individualistic consumer society. The water towers and red roofs of the early towns have been replaced by skyscrapers. Our lifestyle and equipment have changed as well. Mr. and Mrs. Israeli now have a laptop, a glass of wine and a plate of sushi on their table.

Thus, these simple and amusing yet thought provoking illustrations have been a constant presence for these 70 years – proud of the achievements, concerned about the flaws, but as Eli Mohar wrote in the Convoy Song: "Israel is growing around us, stronger than all our shortcomings".

Dr. Mordechai Naor

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Israel in Comics and Caricatures - 70 Years