Wednesday, July 10, 2013
This stamp and cover was issued on 18.2.1992 to commemorate the Israeli PALMAH movement. Now, what was the Palmah? A brief description of the Palmah is given below.
I n May 1941, the Palmah, striking units of the "Haganah", was mobilized as a national force under the high command of the "Haganah" and subject to decisions taken by the leaders of the Zionist movement. During the years 1941-1942 the force numbered 1,000 men and women who fought alongside the allied forces against the Axis powers. Palmah's first commander was General Yitzhak Sadeh, who was succeeded by General Yigal Allon.
The Palmah's members were highly motivated by the cultural and social values of the Kibbutz Movement in Eretz Israel.These values contributed to the high ethical standards of those units in battle.
In 1947, now numbering 2,100 fighters and recognized as the main underground force, the Palmah took upon itself a great part of the burden of fighting against the British. Illegal immigrants from Europe and North Africa were brought to shore by 65 "Haganah" ships which were often less than seaworthy. Syrian and Lebanese Jews were smuggled out and brought to Eretz Israel by hazardous land routes, Radar stations, railways and bridges were sabotaged in combat operations.
When the War of Independence broke out, the three Palmah brigades, the Negev, Iftach and Harel, numbered 6,000 men and women, of whom 1,000 fell in action, The contribution of the Palmah during the War of Independence, all across the country, was crucial and at times proved to be the decisive factor in the victory.
After the 1948 War, veterans of the Palmah established 40 new kibbutzim around the country and many others joined and reinforced existing communities.
Many of the Palmah commanders were appointed to key positions in the high command of the Israel Defense Forces, among themChiefs of Staff Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Chaim Bar-Lev, Dado Elazar, Motta Gur and Rafael Eitan. These commanders carried with them the tradition of Palmah and inspired all Zahal.
The emblem of the Palmah is depicted on the stamp and a verse from "The Palmah Song" on the tab.
Thank you Merja for this interesting stamp and cover.