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So. African Zionist Federation Head Resigns over Issue of Elections to World Congress

The resignation of Bernard Gering as chairman and member of the executive council of the Zionist Federation here was announced today. S.M. Kuper was elected acting chairman.

In explaining his resignation, Mr. Gering told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he took this action in support of his stand against the holding of elections to the forthcoming 23rd World Zionist Congress along party lines in countries outside Israel. He said that the various Zionist parties represented in the Federation twice agreed not to hold elections and twice broke the agreement.

“My objection to elections,” he said, “is based on the view that with the establishment of Israel, we have no right to use the politics of the Jewish state as electioneering platforms outside of Israel. I regard Zionist elections on party lines as a form of demanding a pound of flesh from Israel, making support of Israel conditional on acceding to outside pressure.

“My suggestion was that we, in South Africa, should send to the World Zionist Congress an agreed delegation–composed of party members, since this was the only possible basis for agreement–which would not take its mandate from parties, but from South African Jewry as a whole to press for a change in the world Zionst constitution, altering Diaspora Zionist organization from party to territorial lists.”

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