JERUSALEM (Jul. 20)
Jewish Agency Treasurer Leon Dulzin added his voice today to the mounting criticism of the Zionist General Council’s decision to forego elections to the next World Zionist Congress in countries where 90 percent of the Zionist factions agree to a slate of delegates beforehand. In a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Dulzin denounced the decision “taken in haste” as “a blow to the democratic character of the Zionist movement.”
He challenged the contention of WZO Executive Chairman Yosef Almogi that the 90 percent requirement assured that elections would be held in most countries. Just the opposite is true. Dulzin claimed. He noted that in the U.S., where two-thirds of all diaspora Zionists reside, the decision already has been taken to dispense with elections.
Dulzin said the failure to hold elections would mean that “new groups and younger people who have joined the Zionist movement since the last Congress will not be represented.” He laid blame for the decision on the Labor Zionists and the World Confederation of General Zionists. Dulzin is a leader of the Likud faction in Israel.
“Political party maneuvering designed to secure the continuation of the present status quo” was behind the decision, the Jewish Agency official maintained. He noted that the Zionist General Council meeting last January had ordered preparations for Congress elections and last week’s decision was a reversal.
He disputed Almogi’s claim that organizing elections would necessitate postponement of the Congress now scheduled to open in Jerusalem in January, 1977. He said there was ample time to organize without deferring the Congress and urged Zionists abroad to reject the 90 percent consensus. He admitted, however, that he saw little chance of that occurring.