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Debate Amendment Empowering Actions Committee to Name WZO President

An amendment to the World Zionist Organization’s constitution that would empower the actions committee to elect the president of the WZO was hotly debated in the Congress’ steering committee today. The committee agreed by a 17-to-7 vote that there should be an amendment, but the drafting of it was postponed until tomorrow. The actions committee, governing body of the WZO between congresses, will apparently be saddled with the task of selecting the next president in view of incumbent Dr. Nahum Goldmann’s declaration yesterday that he did not want another term in the office. Dr. Goldmann appeared to mean what he said and a movement to draft him lost most of its steam. The matter of his succession became a constitutional issue because the WZO constitution stipulates that the Congress elect the president. But it makes no provision for circumstances in which there is no candidate.

Ascher Kirschblum of the Union of General Zionists, a faction headed by Dr. Emanuel Neumann of New York, demanded that elections be held now because, in his opinion, there was a candidate in the person of Dr. Neumann. Labor Zionists and other factions insisted however that the election be deferred to the actions committee. Dr. Neumann stated prior to the Congress’ opening last week that he had no aspirations for the presidency.

The steering committee today adopted a resolution to admit up to five non-political Zionist personalities to the WZO Executive. The move opened the way to representation of the Sephardic movement and other factions that have no party framework. A majority of at least two-thirds will be required for their admission, however.

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