PARIS (Oct. 27)
French Jews who cast ballots Sunday for 25 delegates to the upcoming World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem clearly favored the right wing. In Belgium, where eight seats were at stake, the election Sunday underlined the sharp rift between the secular Jews of Brussels and the more traditional and Orthodox Jews of Antwerp.
The French Herut-National Bloc list representing Herut and Mizrachi (religious Zionists) and several allied lists won 14 delegates to the December Congress, according to figures which, however, are not final.
The Herut list itself won nine delegates. Siona, a list representing Jews from North Africa and which sympathizes with Herut, won two delegates. Among other pro-Herut groups, the Youth list won two delegates and the Union of Community Workers one.
The Avoda list won six delegates, the General Zionists and the Union of Jewish Students won two each, and the leftist Mapam either one or two. Of 35,000 eligible voters, 8,600 went to the polls, about 25 percent.
In Belgium, the Union for a Living Zionism, an alliance between the leftist Mapam, Hashomer Hatzair and independents — headed by David Susskind, founding president of the Brussels Jewish Community’s Secular Center — emerged with three delegates. The Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi list garnered two.
In Belgium, 2,468 persons cast ballots out of 6,300 eligible voters, about 40 percent. The good showing by the secular groups was attributed to Susskind’s ability to mobilize support around his community center. He has been critical of some Israeli policies, particularly with respect to the administered territories, and favors an international conference for Middle East peace.
Among the other lists, Herut, Hanoar Hatzioni, Confederation of Youth and Students and Avoda each won a single delegate.