The photo of an Israeli postage stamp showing the Indian Battalion of the British army from 1918 is doing the rounds on social media as a stamp that was released by the country to honour the “Sikh battalion which saved Haifa 100 years back.”
The photo has been shared by actor Kabir Bedi and has received over 2.8k retweets at the time of writing this article.
TRUE OR FALSE?
While the stamp was indeed released by Israel Post in honour of the Indian battalion, it does not feature the Sikh regiment, as claimed.
A reverse image search of the stamp leads to a tweet by Daniel Carmon, who was the former Ambassador to India and Sri Lanka.
Remembering the Brave:New stamp recently issued by the Israeli Philatelic Service commemorates the #Indian cavalry soldiers who fought (& participated in the #BattleofHaifa , 23.9.1918) during the First World War.This is part of “WW1 In Eretz Israel Centenary” series stamps pic.twitter.com/LuaPDsgBAk— Daniel Carmon?? (@danielocarmon) March 6, 2018
According to his tweet from 5 March 2018, the stamp was issued by the Israeli Philatelic Service to commemorate the Indian cavalry soldiers who fought and participated in the liberation war of Haifa on 23 September 1918. The stamp was issued as part of the “WW1 in Eretz Israel Centenary.”
According to the description on Israel Post’s website, the stamp features the insignia of the Indian Army’s Ramchi Jodhpur Battalion, which, according to an article in The Indian Express, comprised of the Rathores of Marwar-Jodhpur.
This was also pointed out by several people in response to Bedi’s tweet.
Fact Check: Israel released a stamp honouring 15 Imperial Services Cavalry Brigade for Battle of Haifa (1918) comprising:— LCA Tejas (India) ایل سی اے تیجاس (@Leopard212) April 18, 2019
(1 Tp Bhavnagar and Kashmir Lancers)
No, there was no SIKH Regt Bn at Haifa. @iKabirBedi https://t.co/jVqbecy0yn
It was Rajput battalion sir, led by Major Dalpat singh of Jodhpur.— Soljar Singh (@soljarsinghprak) April 16, 2019
Jodhpur Lancers led by Great Rajputs soldiers saved Haifa. Don't spread fake photos, Sikhs had no role in Haifa war.— Suraj Pratap Singh (@SurajPrSingh) April 17, 2019
Rajputs defeated Ottoman Turks and Germans at Haifa and liberated this city. The supreme spiritual leader of the Bahai faith was also rescued in this operation. pic.twitter.com/RUMrJl8s3p
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE HAIFA LIBERATION WAR
The Haifa Liberation War, fought over the course of the World War I, saw a sizeable contribution from the British Army’s 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade, comprising the Jodhpur Lancers, Mysore Lancers and the Hyderabad Lancers.
According to an article in The Times of India, the Jodhpur and Mysore lancers led the attack in the battle to free Haifa fro the 450-year-long Turkish rule, while the Mysore lancers were kept in reserve.
Within an hour, the cavalry regiment, particularly the Jodhpur Lancers, invaded and liberated Haifa from the Ottoman empire. The battle saw the Commanding Officer of the Jodhpur Lancers, Major Dalpat Singh die and be bestowed with the title ‘Haifa Hero.’
Meanwhile, Singh was replaced by another officer Aman Singh, and under his lead, the lancers fought to free Haifa. In 2010, relatives of Aman Singh, with the help of the Israel government, built a memorial in Haifa in memory of the war, and ever since 23 September is commemorated as “Vijay Diwas” there.
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