JERUSALEM (Jul. 19)
The Executive of the World Zionist Organization announced yesterday that the 29th World Zionist Congress will open here on Feb. 20, 1978. It will last nine days and will mark both the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Zionist movement by Theodor Herzl and the start of celebrations of the 30th anniversary of Israel’s independence.
Only a partial agenda was announced. It will include a four-year program drafted by a team headed by Prof. Ranaan Weitz to deal with the structure of the WZO in Israel and abroad. Other items will be Zionism today and the progress made over the last eight decades.
The World Zionist Congress was originally scheduled to be held in January of this year. It was postponed because of the Israeli elections and is expected to reflect the major political change that the May 17 elections brought about. No one here doubts that Likud, represented in the WZO by Herut-Hatzohar and the General Zionists (Liberals), will gain much power at the Congress.
A key event will be the election of a new chairman of the WZO and Jewish Agency Executives. Incumbent Yosef Almogi of the Labor Party has announced that he will not stand for re-election. Jewish Agency Treasurer Leon Dulzin is the Likud candidate for the dual office. Labor has not decided yet whether it will enter the contest but if it does the Labor candidate is virtually certain to be Yitzhak Navon, currently chairman of the Zionist General Council.
Some Laborites maintain that Navon would have a good chance of winning if he can rally the support of the American delegates. But others believe that neither the Americans nor any other Congress delegates from abroad would vote for a candidate who does not represent the governing party in Israel. To do so, they said, would be to imply non-support of the government. The WZO chairman traditionally has been a member of the governing party which for 29 years was the Labor Party. (By Tuvia Mendelson)