WZO, Jewish Agency Elections Postponed Till After Passover

The Jewish Agency Board of Governors today decided to postpone until after Passover the election of a treasurer and chairmen of the immigration and absorption, youth aliya and settlement departments. A 10-member committee, comprising five members of the Jewish Agency Executive and five non-Zionist members of the Board of Governors, will make the final decision.

The persons selected for all four posts will also hold the same portfolios with the World Zionist Organization. The Jewish Agency’s board was asked to select the officers when the World Zionist Congress in February failed to reach an agreement over the selection of the WZO, as treasurer.

The dispute is basically a party conflict between Labor and Likud over the treasurer and chairman of the immigration and absorption department. Dulzin and Premier Menachem Begin have been backing Herut’s Yoran Aridor, deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, for treasurer against Labor’s candidate, Akiva Lewinsky of Bank Hapoalim. For the absorption and immigration department, Labor supports the incumbent Uzi Narkiss against Raphael Kotlowitz of Herut Hatzohar.

The 26-member Board of Governors was involved in intensive bargaining over the posts, which included efforts by Begin, former Premier Golda Meir and Labor Party chairman Shimon Peres. The non-Zionist members reportedly supported the Labor candidates.

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