Putting a stamp on Independence Day

Artists, students participate in competition to represent 'New Israeli.'

stamp 224.88 (photo credit: Israel Postal Company)
stamp 224.88
(photo credit: Israel Postal Company)
Israelis are able to vote via the Internet through next Tuesday to choose the design they prefer for a stamp marking the country's 60th Independence Day. The Philatelic Service of the Israel Postal Company has put the three designs voted the best by a committee on the Ynet portal to choose among them - but everyone has only one vote, and the names of the artists are not given. Voting in cyberspace for a stamp design has never been done before. In the 1950s, the late cartoonist Dosh (Kariel Gordosh) designed the image of Srulik, with sandals and a kova tembel on his head to represent the average "Sabra." Dozens of artists and even graphic arts students participated in a competition to represent the "New Israeli," whose image will be depicted on a stamp. To vote, go into the Ynet Web site (www.ynet.co.il) and click Tzarchanut (Consumerism) to read about the competition. (There was no icon on the home page when the competition began on Thursday, but one is due Sunday.) The designs show nine yellow Smiley faces with different expressions: one is an Israeli youth waving a national flag, holding an olive branch, wearing a sports' fan scarf, sandals and army shorts; another features a youth using a cellphone, 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. There are no female images on any of the stamps. "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." Asked why the Philatelic Service had not offered the voting campaign to other Web sites, including those in other languages, the Postal Company spokeswoman said it had to offer exclusivity to Ynet - the most popular Hebrew-language news portal - or else it "would have refused to offer its service for free." The Philatelic Service also didn't approach The Jerusalem Post, she said, because it wanted to limit the contest only to Israelis and not include foreigners who also read the Post's Internet site.