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Klarman Urges Postponement of World Zionist Congress for Three Months

Yosef Klarman, the Herut representative on the Zionist General Council, has urged the World Zionist Organization to postpone for three months the 29th World Zionist Congress, now scheduled for January 1977, to allow Zionist Federations in the United States and elsewhere to elect delegates to the congress.

Klarman, who heads the WZO’s youth aliya department, was one of the strong dissenters when the 123-member Zionist General Council decided last month to forego elections in those countries where 90 percent of the factions represented in the Zionist Federations agreed upon a slate of delegates beforehand.

The postponement would allow the election of delegates according to the regulations that have been set by the Zionist General Council which is the actions committee of the WZO, Klarman said. He charged that the present decision to convene the congress on the basis of the composition of delegates to the last congress is illegal even if elections were held in some Zionist Federations.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS NOT MET

Klarman said he based his charge on the findings of the WZO comptroller who said that the persons eligible to vote for delegates were those who had signed the “Jerusalem Program,” had filled out an application blank for membership in a national Zionist Federation and had paid the annual membership fee. But, Klarman stated, in most places these conditions had not been met. In the U.S., for example, he said, more than 350,000 of the 600,000 members of Zionist organizations had not signed the “Jerusalem Program.” He said similar situations existed in Canada and Britain.

Unless there were elections in all Federations, the composition of the upcoming congress and every action of the congress will be illegal. Klarman stated. He said that in order to rectify this situation he was willing to have a three-month postponement.

When the Zionist General Council’s decision was first announced, Yosef Almogi, chairman of the WZO and Jewish Agency Executives, explained it would take up to two years to schedule elections and that in view of the serious problems facing Israel and Zionism it was better to postpone the elections in some places than defer the next congress.

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