(photo credit: )
A design of the "typical Israeli" by artist Eli Kameli of Tel Aviv has been chosen by thousands of Internet users to become a 60th anniversary of Independence stamp. even though most Israelis do not look like the image.
The design, in blue, white, khaki, green, orange and grey, is of a sloppily attired Israeli youth waving a national flag, holding an olive branch and wearing a sports-fan scarf around his neck, a shirt with an Internet symbol, sandals and cut-off camouflaged army pants.
It received more votes from surfers at the Ynet Internet site than the others, which showed nine yellow Smiley faces with different expressions and a youth using a cell phone, wearing an Israeli flag as a cape, half an IDF uniform and a T-shirt with a Srulik image on it, while holding a world globe under the other arm.
The actual voting figures were not disclosed Wednesday by the Israel Postal Company. The other two designs were old-fashioned, said Kameli, who received $3,000 from the Postal Company's Philatelic Services and previously designed six or seven other stamps, including one on Karaites and other on Chabad's Children from Chernobyl campaign.
"The cellular phone was too international, not uniquely Israeli, and the boy holding a globe made it look as if we are the center of world," said Kameli. "My design is an integration of security, youth, peace, soccer fans and hi-tech."
He said he saw the 100 designs originally sent into the competition, and they were all of males. "We were asked to produce the image a typical Israeli, but none was of a female image," he added. Since the boy wears a baseball cap to the side, said Kameli, "it could represent the religious as well."
But he admitted that it did not represent the wide variety of Israelis, including women and girls, the observant, Ethiopian and Russian immigrants and elderly residents. For that, he said, the Postal Company could have commissioned a series of images that would be more exclusive. One image, he said, could not represent all Israelis.
"I went into the street and saw a young guy dressed exactly like the one I drew on the fifth draft," he said.
"The stamp will serve as a model for history in the making," Postal Company director-general Avi Hochman said. "We chose to make it possible for Israelis to choose their new image by themselves."
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