New York (Oct. 13)
The highest governing body of the Zionist Organization of America has unanimously directed the ZOA administration to proceed with its appeal to the World Zionist Congress Tribunal to invalidate the method by which the American Zionist Federation is seeking to elect delegates to the forthcoming World Zionist Congress. The National Executive Committee, meeting in emergency session, also recorded its “protest” and “censure” of attempts by the AZF to implement the voting procedure–which the Committee described as illegal and undemocratic–while the appeal is still pending. The Committee charged that the proposed election plan is “interlaced” with a clandestine agreement reached among three Zionist groups for the advance distribution of 116 of the 152 US delegates to the Congress.
The Committee’s action, followed a thorough airing of the AZF’s voting procedure which led the ZOA to petition the Congress Tribunal in Jerusalem to declare the election plan “null and void.” In its appeal, the ZOA is charging that the plan was the product of a secret agreement among representatives of Hadassah, the United Labor Zionist Organization of America and the Religious Zionists of America that would predetermine the distribution of 76 percent of the Congress delegates.
Herman L. Weisman, ZOA president, disclosed to the Committee contents of a letter sent to Louis Pincus, chairman of the World Zionist Organization Executive, rejecting Pincus’ request that the ZOA “cooperate fully for the time being” in preparing for the Congress election, “without prejudice” to its rights concerning the appeal, before the Tribunal issued a ruling, Weisman said that in asking the ZOA to take part in the disputed election plan, Pincus was giving the “color of propriety” to the “illicit” inter-party agreement. The ZOA president said Pincus is calling on the ZOA “to waive the absence of a legal vote, to participate in a plan which is predicated on a back-room deal, and to forget that the three American Zionist parties which made the agreement ganged up on the other organizations, including the ZOA, to make a farce of democratic elections.”
Weisman also stated that the ZOA, “as a matter of courtesy,” will allow an inspection and verification of its membership records by a representative of the Comptroller’s office of the World Zionist Organization. But he disputed Pincus’ allegation that a resolution passed by the Zionist General Council, governing body of the WZO, makes such an inspection mandatory for the ZOA to participate in Congress elections. “No such resolution was passed or even presented for voting” by the Zionist General Council, Weisman said.