First joint UN, Israeli stamp on Holocaust issued
The United Nations and Israel for the first time together issue stamps to remember the victims of the Holocaust, as an Israeli official admitted his country and the UN have grown closer after more than 60 years of hostility.
29th January 2008
New York (dpa) - The stamp was designed by the UN Department of Public Information and shows a piece of barbed wire growing into a flower. The design is used by both the Israel Post, which put the stamps on sale on Monday, and by the UN, which has its own postal administration and issues its own stamps.
Israeli Ambassador Dan Gillerman said Israel has come out of isolation caused by the rejection of the once Arab-dominated UN General Assembly. Gillerman was elected a vice president of the 192- nation body for the current session that began in September.
"It's not the case any longer," said Gillerman, of the Israel's isolation in the UN, which had once left it seen as a "permanent non- member."
He said there have been "improved feelings" between the UN and Israel and several symbolic steps have been taken to integrate the Jewish state into the international community. The assembly has adopted fewer anti-Israel resolutions in recent years and last year elected Gillerman as one of 21 vice presidents to preside over its lengthy meetings.
The UN on Monday marked the International Day in Memory of Holocaust Victims, the third such commemoration since 2005, when the body for the first time recognized the massacre of an estimated 6 million Jews and minorities by Nazi Germany.
The day-long commemorative programme included the issuance of the stamps; addresses by survivors of Nazi death camps, including US Congressman Tom Lantos; and an evening concert by the Tel Aviv University Symphony conducted by Zubin Mehta.
The assembly decided in 2005 to commemorate the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945, and made that date a remembrance day for victims of the Holocaust.