NEW YORK (Dec. 7)
Three hundred American Zionists are attending the 30th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem which began tonight and will conclude December 16, it was reported by the American Zionist Federation (AZF). The delegation officially represents 1.1 million registered Zionists from 13 parties, all of which are constituent members of the AZF, the body designated by the World Zionist Organization to oversee the selection of U.S. delegates to the Congress.
At the last Congress, there were 200 voting Israelis and 152 voting Americans out of a total of 633 participants, who came from every continent in the world. The usual number of delegates at a Congress is 500, but the number can fluctuate. The Israeli delegates are allotted proportionally according to the relative strength of Zionist parties seated in Knesset. The Americans are drawn from Zionist organizations in the United States.
Of the American groups represented at Congress, eight are affiliated with Israeli parties, four of them are not. The unaffiliated are the World Confederation of United Zionists which comprises Hadassah, Bnai Zion and the American Jewish League for Israel; and the Association of Reform Zionists of America (ARZA).
The Labor Zionist Alliance (LZA) and Pioneer Women affiliate with the Israeli Labor Party; American Mizrachi women, Religious Zionists of America and Emunah, with the National Religious Party; Americans for Progressive Israel, with Mapam; Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) with the Liberal Party; and the United Zionists Revisionists (UZR), with Herut.
The number of delegates each party or bloc has to the Congress, according to the AZF, is: World Confederation, 69 (compared to 72 at the last Congress in 1978); ARZA, 14 (9 in 1978); LZA and Pioneer Women, 13 (13 in 1978); the Mizrachi bloc, 19 (20 in 1978); API, 2 (2 in 1978); ZOA, 22 (23 in 1978); and the UZR, 13 (13 in 1978).
The Movement for the Reaffirmation of Conservative Judaism (MERCAZ), which is also a constituent member of the AZF, has no delegates to the Congress, the AZF reported. An effort had been made by the AZF to have MERCAZ represented by one delegate, but the Congress’ Zionist Court in Jerusalem ruled against it. MERCAZ had no delegates to the last Congress either because it was formed afterwards.