Pincus Urges ZOA to Cooperate Fully in Election of Delegates to Congress

Louis Pincus, chairman of the World Zionist Organization, has appealed to the Zionist Organization of America to “cooperate fully for the time being” in the preparation for the election of 152 American delegates from the American Zionist Federation to the World Zionist Congress scheduled next January in Jerusalem. Pincus issued this appeal in a cable to Herman Weisman, ZOA president. The cable was released today by the AZF. Weisman had appealed to the Congress Tribunal to declare the AZF method of mail ballot elections “nail and void” and also sent an appeal to the WZO Executive urging it to direct the AZF to “desist and refrain” from implementing the election process until the Tribunal reached a decision. The ZOA called for direct balloting at voting booths.

In his cable to Weisman, Pincus stated that the “issue you raise is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress Court.” In view of this, Pincus noted that he would not “deal with numerous allegations…many of which I consider to be inaccurate and contrary to the facts.” He stated that “without prejudice to any rights your organization may have in relation to its appeal to (the) Congress Court, I appeal to you to implement the decision passed unanimously at actions committee enabling the controller’s representative to check membership drive (of) your organization as he has done in all other organizations.”

The reference here was reportedly to the refusal of the ZOA to permit a Congress auditor from Jerusalem to check the membership lists to ascertain the number of valid members in ZOA who can cast ballots in the forthcoming elections. Other Zionist groups have permitted an auditing of their lists to provide an accurate count of the actual number of members against claimed membership. Pincus stated that this procedure “is a sine qua non (of) your participation in any form of elections.” Furthermore, Pincus stated, “(I) recommend you cooperate fully for the time being in preparations for the elections of the constituent organizations as decided by over 75 percent of the constituent organizations of the Area Elections Committee.”

Meanwhile, Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the AZF, said he was “somewhat puzzled” by the Americans for Progressive Israel-Hashomer Hatzair statement yesterday criticizing the AZF for its failure to give American Jews “an opportunity to be part of the Zionist endeavor by holding secret, democratic elections for the American delegation.” Rabbi Miller stated that the API-HH had voted for the AZF plan to hold mail ballot elections which, he noted, was adopted by the AZF election committee.

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