1,654 Candidates on 24 Tickets Contesting for 171 Seats in Palestine Assembly

When the Jewish population of Palestine goes to the polls next Tuesday, August 1, to elect 171 members of the Assefath Hanivcharim, the Jewish National Assembly, they will be confronted by 24 slates totalling 1654 candidates, an average of about ten contestants per seat.

The tickets range from those of the powerful Palestine Labor Party, the Mizrachi, the General Zionists and other established political groups to the Women’s League for Equal Rights. At present four groups have announced their intention of boycotting the elections because of the unwieldy machinery. They are:

The Sephardim, who favor an electoral system along English lines, which they believe will mean an increase in their representation; the General Zionists B, who are backing the Sephardim because of their desire to postpone the elections until after the balloting for representatives to the Histadruth council, which will be held August 6 and 7; the Revisionists who are also in favor of a postponement because they want more time to campaign; and the Farmers Association, which fears a leftist victory and is, therefore, supporting the Sephardim and the Revisionists in the hope that other rightist parties will boycott the elections, causing them to be postponed indefinitely.

A separate slate has also been entered by the German Settlers Association, whose aim is to take over leadership of the Jewish community in order to organize it on a “western basis.” They are opposed to the Biltmore Declaration, which calls for the establishment of a Jewish Commonwealth. However, this group has split and several of its prominent members have entered other parties which support the Biltmore Declaration.

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