Canadian union decries joint Canada-Israel stamp


TORONTO (JTA) — The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is refusing to put its stamp of approval on the first-ever postage stamp issued jointly by Canada and Israel.

Unveiled last month, the international rate stamp commemorates 60 years of bilateral relations between the two countries.

Depicting a red maple leaf and blue Star of David, both comprised of human figures, the stamp is worth $1.70 in Canada and 4.60 shekels in Israel.

"CUPW recognizes that Israel is a democracy and has taken steps to end discrimination against lesbian and gay citizens," Denis Lemelin, national president of the postal union wrote in a recent letter to the head of the Canada Post Corp.

"However, we are puzzled about the concept of shared values with a country that has consistently ignored United Nations and World Court decisions in regards to the ongoing Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. … Sadly, in Israel there are still over 20 laws that discriminate against the Palestinian national minority on such basic issues as education, jobs, land ownership and access to public resources."

Lemelin’s letter goes on to cite Israeli violations of U.N. resolutions, its building of a "separation wall" and ongoing discrimination against Palestinians.

The editor of Canadian Stamp News, Charles Verge, also took a swipe at the joint stamp, writing that "I am amazed and mystified by the totally political nature of this stamp."

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