LONDON (Sep. 7)
Leon Dulzin, treasurer of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency, voiced strong opposition here to the decision not to hold elections for the next World Zionist Congress scheduled to open in Jerusalem in January. “Avoiding elections would be a blow to the democratic nature of the Zionist movement.” Dulzin declared in an address before the European conference of the World Union of General Zionists. Dulzin, a leader of the Likud opposition in Israel, is co-president of the World Union.
He said the decision to forego elections was made by groups intent on maintaining the status quo because they feared elections might demonstrate the erosion of their power in the Zionist movement. He said the World Union was one of those Zionist bodies that would be adversely affected by the failure to hold elections.
The General Zionists have grown in Britain in recent years, but if elections are not held, their representation at the Congress would be based on their strength at the last Congress and would not reflect their gains since then, he declared.
Dulzin rejected the contention that elections were too costly. He said that if an electoral college system was employed, the costs would be minimal. He also stressed that “elections would provide the public forum for a debate on the major issues that will face the Zionist Congress. A debate on Zionist ideology and responsibility will not divide the Zionist movement but revitalize it. Differences of opinion are not necessarily disunity. An open debate once in five years is not only necessary but indispensable,” he declared.
Dulzin also called for a demonstration of Jewish solidarity, not only in the diaspora but in Israel. He said the differences within the Israeli government affect its daily work. He thought that Likud has a good chance of winning the next elections in Israel and proposed that they be held before the present government’s mandate expires in October, 1977. He supported the government’s policy in the Lebanese crisis, saying that the “good fence” on the Israeli-Lebanese border showed that “in a world of brutality, Jews are different by opening their borders to their so-called enemies.”