JERUSALEM (Jan. 14)
Prime Minister Shimon Peres has issued a strong statement of support for the World Zionist Organization following a series of meetings between top Cabinet ministers and WZO executive members.
The statement has been very warmly welcomed by the WZO leadership which sees it as an expression of support for the ongoing Herzlia process, whereby the WZO has undertaken a structural reform of its organization and has promised greater democratization of its institutions.
The statement, issued here this weekend, said that the government recognizes the WZO to be the main catalyst in the relations between Israel and the diaspora, and that it places great importance on the organization’s activities.
The Prime Minister also announced, in his statement, that the government intends to increase the cooperation and coordination between it and the WZO.
The meetings followed a certain discord within the Jewish Agency against the background of disgruntlement by some non-Zionist fund-raising members. But there is awareness within the WZO of calls for reform and of the need for the Herzlia process.
The WZO is awaiting with trepidation the report, due out this week, on the emissary institution. The report, by a commission under former Supreme Court Justice Moshe Landau, is expected to be a profound reconsideration of the entire emissary organization.
In the statement, Peres and WZO Executive Chairman Leon Dulzin echoed this awareness and called on all Zionist organizations to undergo deep ideological self-examination in order to pave the way for the future of the Zionist movement.
The Prime Minister mentioned the challenges that the Zionist movement faces today, namely, aliya, the need to intensify the awareness that Israel is the center of the Jewish people, and the improvement of both Jewish and Zionist education.
Peres emphasized the importance of the Jewish Agency which works together with the Zionist movement, the Jewish communities abroad and the various appeals, and he noted the special status accorded to them by the laws of the State.
There will be no Daily News Bulletin dated January 20, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a postal holiday.