• Issue: April 1968
  • Designer: E. Weishoff
  • Plate no.: 231
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

Three wars in the course of twenty years and constant security tensions have made the IDF into an efficient body which sees its objectives clearly and executes its assignments ably.

The IDF did not arise in a vacuum. It was the logical continuation of the "Haganah" and of the tradition of heroism which is as old as the history of settlement in the country. The IDF is a synthesis of those elements which characterize the generation which is growing up here - a deep inner consciousness, purposefulness, the ability to learn and to improve and to find indefinite strength to meet any given situation.

On the May 26, 1948, eleven days after the establishment of the State, the Provisional Government announced the setting up of the IDF. The first law of Security Service was passed in the Knesset the following September and the IDF became the official standing army of the State. Its strength has steadily increased, standing up to the test in a series of retaliatory actions which reached their peak in the Sinai Campaign in 1956. Lessons were learned from that battle and changes were carried out. Again in the Six Day War in June 1967, the IDF displayed its superiority over the enemy.

The outstanding fighting spirit of the IDF stems from the deep spirit of comradeship among the soldiers and from the dynamic leadership which coined the slogan, "Follow me!" In battle, the IDF has always been faithful to its basic doctrine that the war must be taken over into enemy territory, since the structure of the country's borders and the proximity of the enemy constitute a permanent threat to the security of the country.

The IDF is a people's army, made up of a nucleus of a relatively small regular army and of a large body of reserves. Its power and flexibility of changing rapidly from limited to broad formation is one of the secrets of its victory.

As a people's army the IDF is often used for civilian purposes such as the absorption of immigrants and pioneering settlement. As it has opened a varied network of education and schooling, the IDF has become the largest school in the State, inculcating the soldiers with cultural and civic values. Against this background too, bodies characteristic of the IDF have been set up, such as the Women's Forces, Gadna (the paramilitary youth organization), Nahal - pioneering army units, and special defense.

Since the balance of power obliges the IDF to rely on quality versus quantity, its fighting forces have been trained to a high standard - in the air force, armored units, parachutists, etc. - with efficient support forces and resourceful services, all of which are trained in first-class professional instructor courses.

On its twentieth birthday, the State is proud of one of its finest creations and a cornerstone of its existence - the Israel Defense Forces.

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20th Independence Day , Zahal