JERUSALEM (Jun. 28)
Changes adopted by the Jewish Agency Assembly here this week to raise the level of non-Zionist participation in the Zionist movement were hailed today as a “Zionist victory” by Leon Dulzin, chairman of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization Executives.
In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency as the Assembly ended its four day session, begun June 24, Dulzin dismissed as “nonsense” fears expressed by some Zionist leaders that they were losing power and influence to the “non-Zionists”, specifically the Jewish “fund-raisers” from abroad.
That concern had been expressed publicly by Alleck Resnick, president of the Zionist Organization of America and Ivan Novick, past president of the ZOA at a ZOA conference here last week.
But according to Dulzin, “It is a Zionist victory when the non-Zionists accept the Jerusalem program which is a Zionist program.” The Jerusalem Program was a compromise hammered out at the 27th World Zionist Congress in 1968 between diaspora and Israeli Zionists. The diaspora leaders accepted the centrality of Israel in Jewish life. The Israelis agreed to eliminate any derogatory implications to the continued existence of a diaspora.
Among the changes introduced and accepted by the Jewish Agency Assembly was the expansion of the WZO Executive from 12 to 18 members. Nine will represent the various Zionist parties, six the American Jewish communities and three Jewish communities in the rest of the world, through the Keren Hayesod.
NON-ZIONISTS TO HAVE ‘PRACTICAL INFLUENCE’
“The idea is to turn the Zionist movement so that it will no longer be under the exclusive rule of the Zionist parties,” Dulzin said. “This will give the non-Zionists voting powers and practical influence in the Zionist movement.”
Dulzin explained that “The Jewish Agency enters a new period. On top of its tasks in Israel, it also regards itself responsible for the fate of the Jewish people and its existence. In other words, the Agency moves from a pragmatic approach into full cooperation with the Zionist movement to ensure the continued existence of the Jewish people.”
Dulzin noted that the three events which put the Jewish Agency in the center of Israel-diaspora relations were the Assembly and the meetings of the Zionist General Council and the World Leadership Conference for Jewish Education which preceded it here last week.
The General Council decided to establish a think tank to reevaluate the present structure and operations of the WZO and make recommendations for a reorganization which would meet the challenges of the new era. Dulzin expressed hope that this body, divided into four regional committees, would come up with operational recommendations when the General Council meets again next year.