Those who feel they are important enough for a stamp to be
issued in their honor do not have to wait until they are
elected prime minister or until they receive a Nobel
The Postal Authority is now offering an easier way: anyone's
portrait can be printed on a personal stamp and sent by
regular mail to friends and acquaintances around the
At the International Philatelic Exhibition held in Jerusalem
this week, the public was presented with a fascinating new
service. Several photography stations were set up on the
exhibition grounds where visitors were able to have their
pictures taken and be issued personalized stamps on the
spot. For NIS 35 visitors were able to purchase a sheet of
16 personal-issue stamps, with a self-portrait printed on an
official stamp featuring a border of native Israeli flowers.
The stamps could then be used as postage on letters sent
domestically or abroad.
Postal Authority Director-General Dan Nadiv said he expects
thousands of people to take advantage of the opportunity to
appear on official State of Israel stamps. Nadiv added that
the personalized stamp has a high appeal worldwide, and that
this type of stamp is already in use in a number of
countries. Philatelic Services Director Yeinon Beilin says
that after the success of the venture at stamp exhibitions
around the world over the past two years, the Postal
Authority is looking into the possibility of issuing
personalized stamps on a permanent basis. The problem is
that in Israel various hostile and criminal elements could
use the idea to disseminate pictures of figures from the
world of crime or the world of terror.
It would be interesting to see how the prime minister, for
example, would react if his office got flooded with letters
bearing the picture a of well-known prisoner for whom
thousands of people are calling for an early release.