On September 13, 2022, Israel and Mexico issued stamps at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of their relationship. The stamps are illustrated with symbols of both countries: the Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops), Israel’s national bird, the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica), the Mexican national bird, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and the columnar cactus (Stenocereus dumortieri or Isolatocereus dumortieri). Interestingly, Israel issued as usual its stamps in sheetlets of 15 stamps ([5×3]) together with 5 tabs at the bottom of the sheet. This tab becomes the design of the second stamp of Mexico. For the first time, this twin issue involving Israel must be considered as complete only if the pair of Mexican stamps is associated with the Israel stamp mandatorily linked with a tab, reducing by two third the possibility to create matching pairs. At the same time, this will give also a much higher value to the Israelian stamp with tab and e.g., mixed FDCs make sense only if the set is complete (with Israelian tab). Most of the information was provided by Dov Lask (Israel), thanks to him.
This issue was expected to be released on February 26, 2022 and surprisingly came out two weeks earlier, on February 15, 2022. Uri Barlev (Israel) could confirm that Gibraltar and Israel released on the same day identical stamps showing interiors of churches. Stamps depict the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and the Nefosut Yehuda Synagogue in Gibraltar. Mixed covers as well as the usual Israel mixed Souvenir Leaf became also available. We are still waiting for additional data from Gibraltar.
This Gibraltar – Israel joint issue eventually reaches the market after a first attempt made during the year 2011, more precisely for an issue planned to be released on June 27, 2011, when a first common design was proposed. In Israel, the stamps reached even the printing stage. Despite agreement from both countries, Gibraltar forgot to get in time approval of the design from the British Authorities. Not a recommendation, but a request came from the British Foreign Office to remove the illustration of the Jerusalem’s David Citadel and to substitute it with a landmark from Tel-Aviv. When this request came, it was too late, and the whole print run was destroyed while Gibraltar accepted to reimburse all costs. So, finally, ten years later, we can welcome a now politically acceptable Gibraltar – Israel joint issue. But why having waited so long ?
Tomas Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937), familiarly called TGM, co-founded Czechoslovakia at the end of WWIO, in 1918, together with Milan Rastislav Štefánik (1880-1919) and Edvard Beneš (1884-1948). He served as its first president from 1918 to 1935. He is the first head of state to visit the Mandate for Palestine in 1923 and 1927. Czech Republic and Israel issued identical stamps on November 30, 2021. The stamps represent the portrait of the politician and an artistic mosaic of the Kfar Masaryk kibbutz in Northern Israel (founded by Jewish immigrants from Czechoslovakia and Lithuania). The tabs show the flags of both countries. Mixed FDCs, mixed souvenir sheets and mixed maximum cards became available.