Lot #: 80471

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Description

Soviet subtle 'postkrieg' against Israel: 20-1-1988 registered airmail cover with Advice of Receipt service from REHOVOT (return addressed JERUSALEM) to Jewish/Israeli institution in USSR (per Russian address), tied by local red circular "pre-paid" postmark (Nacht 518/24) in center & registry label at top right + AR postcard on back; in the period atmosphere of Soviet harassment of Jews and Zionists the local post office circled the Registry label as if a problematic frank and applied a 2-line text instructional marking (unlisted in the 2011 7th edition "Postkrieg" catalogue) "RETOUR | L'ARTICLE… 1979", apparently referencing a decision of the 1979 UPU congress - the closest possibility is Resolution C 5/1979 regarding Illegal issue of postage stamps (by Turkish occupied North Cyprus); if the issue was simply overlooking the pre-paid postmark and treating the letter as unfranked, it could have been taxed and the reason for the service-refusal could have been less legalistic.
The cover was returned to sender with the local post office attempting delivery on 13 March and again on 31 March (manuscript on front, postmark of REHOVOT 7 on back). As a 10 Feb. 1986 Jewish Telegraphic Agency report notes, about the Soviet Union's refusal to accept mail franked with the 1986 Herzl stand-by definitives, the Soviet post office didn't resort to dramatic postal markings and simply marked the refused mail with standard "addressee unknown" handstamps. As here, postkrieg through subtle bureaucratic procedures (though accentuated by the senders' use of postal services to track shipment and confirm delivery to known addresses) - all undocumented in the Postkrieg catalogue.