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World Zionist Congress to Deal with Far Reaching Issues

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Avraham Schenker, a member of the World Zionist Executive and head of its Organization and Information Department in Jerusalem, predicted that 35 to 40 percent of the delegates to next January’s World Zionist Congress will be “new faces” and guesstimated that 40 or 50 percent of those will be aged 18 to 25. Schenker told a press luncheon sponsored by the WZO American Section that Zionism could not flourish in the future without an influx of newer, younger leadership. He noted that in the two countries where Congress delegates have already been chosen–Brazil and Peru–youth made a significant showing.

Schenker discounted the importance of the charges against the delegate-election process in the United States by the Zionist Organization of America and the United Zionist Revisionists, and in other countries by other Zionist groups. The ZOA and the Revisionists have challenged the use of mail ballots and alleged backroom deals. Their protests will be heard Nov. 16 by the Congress Tribunal, headed by Israeli Supreme Court Justice Moshe Landau.

The real issue, Schenker insisted, is not those protests but the “very far-reaching questions” to be tackled by the Congress–the “absolutely essential” questions of aliya. Jewish education, youth and students, and “the revival of Zionism in the Soviet Union.” And the “crucial, fundamental, underlying” issue is Israeli-diaspora relations. These matters are so important, Schenker said, that the Congress will forego its traditional “general discussion” format and concentrate on “specifics” as of the second day of its sessions.

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