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Three African nations publish "Jewish Heroes of Africa" stamps.


South Africa was one of Israel’s most important military allies during the 70’s and 80’s.  At the time, many western nations still treated Israel as a pariah nation.

South Africa’s Apartheid government was instrumental in helping Israel develop nuclear weapons. Apartheid later voluntarily dismantled their nuclear arsenal to appease the international community. The Israeli parliament officially ended their close relationship with Apartheid in 1987 under pressure from the United States and Europe.

According to Israel’s largest newspaper, Jews were dramatically overrepresented among white anti-Apartheid activists. Despite Apartheid being an important ally of Israel. The paper also describes how South African Jews were instrumental in the formation of the South African Communist Party (which launched the ANC) and the South African Progressive Party.

From Jerusalem Post…

The postal services of Liberia, Gambia and Sierra Leone will simultaneously issue a set of three commemorative postal sheets on Tuesday in memory of 12 Jews – men and women – who fought Apartheid and racism in Africa.

In the struggle against South African Apartheid, according to one of the commemorative sheets, it was estimated that Jews were overrepresented by 2,500 percent in proportion to the governing white population.

“This stamp issue acknowledges the extraordinary sacrifices made by Jews to the liberation of their African brethren, and these stamps recognize some of the most significant contributors to global humanity in the 20th century,” reads the text on one of the commemorative sheets.

Each sheet presents four black-and-white photos of stamps featuring the Jewish heroes. Details can be found at www.legendaryheroesofafrica.com.

The Liberian issue will show Helen Suzman, Eli Weinberg, Esther Barsel and Hymie Barsel.

The issue from Sierra Leone will display Yetta Barenblatt, Ray Alexander Simons, Baruch Hirson and Norma Kitson. The Gambian sheet will present Ruth First, Hilda Bernstein, Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein and Ronald Segal.