• Issue: April 1983
  • Designer: Y. Agam
  • Stamp size: 40 x 51.4 mm
  • Plate no.: 51
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tab: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

The State of Israel came into being on the 14th May 1948. During its 35 years of existence, Israel has successfully fulfilled many of the aims that it had set itself, but one thing has been denied it to this very day - peace.

From the day of its birth, the young state was compelled to build and maintain a strong army to act as a deterrent against the enemies who surrounded it . Israel's 36th year has been entitled the "Year of Courage", to commemorate the long list of campaigns and acts of courage that have characterized the history of the Jewish people during the past half century: the struggle of the Jewish Underground to drive out the foreign rulers and restore the independence of the Jewish people; the establishment of a Jewish Defence Force; the War of Independence and all the subsequent wars against the surrounding Arab states; the uprising of the Jews of the Ghetto and the Concentration Camps; the fight of the Jewish partisans and the Jewish units serving with the allied forces in the second World War.

With the signing of the Israel-Egypt peace treaty on the 26th March 1979, a new era opened in the Middle East and, while a true peace has yet to be reached, there can be no doubt that the treaty marks the first steps towards peaceful relations with all Israel's neighbours.

On the day that Israel's independence was declared, the population of the country numbered 650,000 Jews and about 156,000 Arabs and Druze. By the beginning of 1983 there were just over 4 million people of whom 83 per cent are Jews. Under the Law of Return, every Jew is entitled to make his home in Israel and since 1948 the country has welcomed more than 1,700,000 Jewish immigrants.

An immediate result of the peace treaty with Egypt has been the rapid development of the Negev which has had to accommodate various military installations that were previously in Sinai. Three new air bases have been constructed, necessitating the relocation of those Bedouins who previously had their homes there, while roads and a complementary infrastructure have been built to meet the requirements of the army.

The Galilee, too, has seen rapid development in the past few years as new settlements - both industrial and agricultural have been set up together with a number of mountain-top look-outs. By the end of 1982, over 100 new settlements, comprising several tens of thousands of Jews, had been established in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights and Gaza. Israel's economy is based on industry, agriculture, construction, transportation, communications and tourism and has grown, since 1948, at a rate achieved by few countries in the world. In recent years Israel has placed the emphasis on developing sophisticated new technological products in the fields of electronics, communications, computers, etc.

Israeli agriculture has, for years, been regarded as one of the most advanced, efficient and developed in the world, and its products are to be found on the tables of almost every country in Europe.

As Israel enters its 36th year, its people look forward with hope to other states joining the peace-making process; to the country being able to overcome its internal disputes; being blessed with a steady stream of immigrants and continuing to develop both economically and socially.

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Israel - 35 years of independence