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The smallest ideological and political battlefield: depicting borders on postage stamps – the case of Israel


Nations and Nationalism

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There are few dozen areas in dispute around the world, where the borders have not been agreed by the involved parties or by the international community. The dispute over the Israeli border is particularly complex as it not only presents disagreement between the opposing sides in play but also in the international arena and within the Israeli political system and society. This paper examines one way in which the State of Israel is trying to define its borders through postage stamps. The argument raised is that Israel issues stamps that deal with disputed territorial areas in accordance with the ideology of the ruling party of a certain period, as well as the respective social consensus surrounding a particular area. Our findings support this argument and find three meta‐messages incorporated into the stamps, including the historical connection between the State of Israel and the land of Israel, unified Jerusalem, and the Christian connection to Jerusalem.