NEW YORK (Jan. 11)
The United Non-Party Zionist slate comprising Hadassah, Bnai Zion and the American Jewish League for Israel swept the field in the election for delegates to the World Zionist Congress. The slate received 55,867 votes in the postal balloting and will have 66 delegates out of 152 American delegates to the Congress which opens in Jerusalem on Jan. 18.
The Labor Zionist Movement slate comprising Poale Zion, Farband and Pioneer Women came in second with 26,377 votes and 28 delegates. The Zionist Organization of America followed with 23,355 votes and 26 delegates.
The other Zionist slates in the election, in order of votes and delegates, were: Religious Zionist Movement including Mizrachi Women and Hapoel Hamizrachi Women received 22,648 votes and 25 delegates; the United Socialist Zionist slate comprising Americans for Progressive Israel-Hashomer Hatzair and the Radical Zionist Alliance polled 3,402 votes and will have four delegates; the Independent Student Zionists received 1,128 votes and will have three delegates.
Of the 700,000 registered Zionists who were eligible to vote, some 135,000 returned their postal ballots. About 2,000 ballots were invalidated for lack of identification or because of duplication. The election was held under the auspices of the AZF and administered by the American Arbitration Association. In the elections, the various Zionist organizations were vying for 55 percent of the places or 85 of the 152 delegates. The remaining 45 percent or 67 delegates’ seats was allocated on the basis of the current membership strength of the different Zionist group.
ELECTION WAS PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY
Rabbi Israel Miller, president of the American Zionist Federation who announced today the results of the first Zionist election in the United States in 25 years, said the election was unprecedented in American Jewish life in that individual members in 50 states chose their representatives by direct secret ballot. “The elections,” he said, “enabled the membership to express itself ideo-
Dr. Judah J. Shapiro, president of the Labor Zionist Alliance, today hailed the election as “an important display of faith in the democratic process” and the direct involvement of some 125,000 Jews “as a genuine constituency.” He expressed elation with the Labor Zionist Movement’s achievements in the election “ranking second to the great Hadassah membership and first among those with ideological positions.”
Moreover, he noted, a larger percentage of the Labor Zionist members “cast ballots than any of the other groups.” The leadership of the LZA, Dr. Shapiro added, “feels more than ever that it has obligations to its membership in representing it at the Congress and in serving it at home.”