30th World Zionist Congress Opens Tuesday Night in Jerusalem
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30th World Zionist Congress Opens Tuesday Night in Jerusalem

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The 30th World Zionist Congress will open tomorrow night in Jerusalem as scheduled, and end December 16. It will be “an important gathering of the entire Jewish people,” World Zionist Organization Executive chairman Leon Dulzin announced here today.

Wrangling over the number of delegates from each Zionist party following disputed elections in Britain and France and the failure to hold elections in the United States altogether are to be resolved by the Congress Zionist Court. A decision to this effect was taken by the requisite 75 percent majority of the Zionist General Council in a special session here yesterday — and this enabled the Congress to convene as scheduled.

Kalman Sultanik, head of the Congress organization committee, said there would be 550 delegates representing political parties and an additional 200 delegates representing non-party Jewish-Zionist organizations such as synagogal bodies and Maccabi.

Dulzin said he would submit a detailed proposal to the Congress for the “thorough reorganization” of the WZO so that it will henceforth be based on “a regional basis not a party basis” Another proposal Dulzin said he intends to submit will be for the immediate doubling — from 8,000 to 15,000–of the number of youth the WZO brings to Israel for study periods each year.

The new target will include a doubling of foreign Jewish university students, Dulzin said. At present there are some 2,000 in Israeli universities. Dulzin said he wanted to see the figure increase to 4,000 by the 1983 academic year if possible, and consultations with university deans seemed to show this was possible.


The key theme of the 30th Congress will be anti-Semitism, with entire days devoted to discussions on this topic in the wake of what is widely seen as a revival of crude anti-Semitism this year in many and disparate countries. Aliya will also be stressed, with the Zionists spearheading a new effort to open up the gates of the Soviet Union again to Jewish emigration.

Dulzin took the opportunity of a pre-Congress press conference to reiterate his oft stated view that “neshira” (Jews who opt to go to countries other than Israel once they emigrate from the Soviet Union) had caused the closing of the gates this past year or two

He warned that if the gates were reopened — which he believes would happen and the dropout rate increased, the gates would again be closed. Since the State of Israel came into being there are no more Jewish refugees,” Dulzin said by way of rejecting the view among some American Jewish leaders that Soviet Jewish emigrants are refugees. Soviet Jewish emigrants are not refugees because they have visas to go to Israel and they ought therefore to go there, Dulzin asserted.

He said frankly he did not envisage massive aliya from the West but nevertheless believed that the rate of 10,000 annually over the past decade could certainly be “doubled and tripled.” He called — as he has so often in the past — for a unified aliya-absorption system operated jointly by the government and the WZO, and said that the dearth of rental housing in Israel was one key obstacle to immigration from the West.

Dulzin said he discerned a new interest in Zionism among Israel’s youth, thanks in large measure to the work of the Zionist Council in Israel in the schools and in the youth movements.

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