Joint Issue Croatia - Israel
This commemorative postage stamp has been jointly issued with Israel Post.
The Republic of Croatia and the State of Israel established a diplomatic relationship on Sep. 4th, 1997. The relationship between the two countries has reached a high level of cooperation, friendship and dialogue during the past two decades because the two countries and their citizens got to know each other better and bonded. Regular exchange of visits between the Croatian and Israeli officials, a string of signed agreements and international acts in all areas of cooperation make a strong foundation to build a relationship. Israel's exceptionally successful global competitive and technologically developed economy with a high level of innovation and strong entrepreneurial climate is a cooperation challenge for every country for the goal of developing a stable and economically advanced society.
Flowers that are characteristic for the two countries were selected as motifs for commemorative postage stamps: Israel's windflower and iris, Croatian national flower as they relay a clear message regarding devotion, and of Israelis and Croatians identifying with their own national values and symbols of their countries. Picturesque wildflowers, biblical meadow lilies, can be found across Israel, while the sophisticated Croatian iris, a divine flower from the old Slavic mythology, is a traditional symbol of dignity, bravery and hope.
The kinship and the strength of the partnership between our nations is the result of many similarities that inextricably connect us. Ideas about our own countries several centuries old, our battles for national emancipation and homeland, expressing dedicated patriotism and unity under difficult historical events additionally permeate our recent history. Croatia values the openness of the Israelis, their uniqueness and strong desire to preserve the memory of distinctiveness of their historical fate. The Israeli culture has been built for four millenniums and has produced a recognisable national and religious identity. A hundred years of Zionism and 69 years of modern Israeli statehood have confirmed that pride and made the Jewish heritage an integral part of the entire humanity.
Jewish heritage is of great importance in the area of entire Croatia, from the far north to the centuries old Sephardic traces in Dubrovnik that boasts the second oldest synagogue in Europe. Many Croatian artists of Jewish ancestry have contributed to the diversity and affirmation of the Croatian culture and public life.
Croatian culture and heritage and numerous natural beauties are a strong brand in Israel. Israeli tourists keep coming in greater numbers to visit Croatia. By the same token, numerous Croatian pilgrims, as well as regular tourists, are visiting Israel more often as they, due to their Christian tradition, experience it as a part of their own being. Many Croatians, mostly priests and monks, have left many traces on the places considered holly to Christianity, from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Even Saint Jerome, the first serious translator who translated the Bible to the Latin language, was from the area of today's Croatia. Studying and commemorating the holocaust and fighting antisemitism from the deepest political, historical and moral reasons is an important form of cooperation with Israel and the Jewish community for the goal of paying respects to the victims and remembering holocaust in today's world.
Croatia sees a valuable partner and a friend in Israel, and Israel has clearly made it known that it considers Croatia one of its closest allies in Europe. Both countries are located on the divide between different worlds and civilisations, in a surrounding where different geopolitical interests are intertwined. This is why, starting with common interests and value systems, they are dedicated to strengthening a permanent and all-encompassing partnership.