PALESTINE 1920 1m sepia, SG45
Palestine 1920 (6 Dec) 1m sepia, type 6 overprint (Arabic 10mm, narrow setting), perforations 14, SG45.
A fine mint example with original gum.
A scarce stamp not reflected in its current catalogue value.
The British and allied forces invaded Palestine in November 1917 capturing Gaza (7 November), Jaffa (16 November) and Jerusalem (9 December). The front line then stabilised until the second British offensive of September 1918. Prior to the British occupation, the Indian Expeditionary Force had given Palestinians basic postal services for free.
This stamp, first issued in 1920, caused significant controversy. As Palestine was under the civil administration of British Mandate of Palestine, it issued stamps bearing three official languages: English, Arab and Hebrew. Local Jews and Arabs lobbied the British about the overprint
The Jewish members of the Advisory Council objected to the Hebrew transliteration of the word "Palestine", on the grounds that the traditional name was “Eretz Yisrael”, but the Arab members would not agree to this designation, which, in their view, had political significance. The High Commissioner therefore decided, as a compromise, that the Hebrew transliteration should be used, followed always by the two initial letters of "Eretz Yisrael", Aleph Yod, and this combination was always used on the coinage and stamps of Palestine and in all references in official documents.