NEW YORK (Jan. 12)
The Religious Zionist Movement, which ran fourth in the election of American delegates to the 28th World Zionist Congress, claimed today that it was in fact the “victor” and that the results, announced yesterday by the American Zionist Federation, “indicated the growth of Religious Zionist strength and the decline of all other American Zionist parties.” The RZM, including the Mizrachi Women and Hapoel Hamizrachi Women, received 22,648 votes and will send 25 delegates to the Congress which opens in Jerusalem next week.
According to Rabbi Bernard A. Poupko, president of the Religious Zionists of America, “The results of the Zionist Congress elections, when properly evaluated and appraised, will reveal that the Religious Zionist Movement was the real victor.” He cited an analysis of the election figures by Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, RZA executive vice-president, which noted that the Religious Zionists received 25 mandates in the 1972 elections compared to 19 at the 1968 World Zionist Congress to which no elections were held in the US, a 32 percent increase.
The analysis pointed out that the Labor Zionist Movement which sent 34 delegates to Jerusalem in 1968, now has only 28 delegates, and that the representation of the Zionist Organization of America dropped from 30 delegates in 1968 to 26 in 1972. The United Non-Party slate comprising Hadassah, Bnai Zion and the American Jewish League for Israel topped the balloting this year with 55,867 votes and will have 66 of the 152 American delegates at the Zionist Congress.
But according to Dr. Wagner’s analysis, that “sweep” was misleading. “According to membership figures, the slate possessed almost 50 percent of the Zionist electorate…Having received only 42 percent of the votes and only 66 mandates, the United Party Zionist slate suffered a defeat.” he claimed.