Heated Scenes Mark Discussion of Political Declaration at World Zionist Congress
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Heated Scenes Mark Discussion of Political Declaration at World Zionist Congress

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Heated scenes marked sessions of the 23rd World Zionist Congress today as it began consideration in planary session of its political declaration.

Numerous efforts by delegates representing the pro-Soviet Mapam Party and the right-wing Herut Party to secure amendments to the text proposed to the Congress by its Political Commission were voted down during a session in which the presiding officer had difficulty at times in keeping order.

An attempt by a Mapam delegate, Adolph Berman, former leader of the left Poale Zion in Poland, to extol the Communist-inspired Stockholm peace petition from the Congress rostrum caused a brief but impassioned turmoil as delegates booed and called on the chairman to rule the speaker out of order.

The Congress finally defeated the Mapam and Herut amendments and adopted the first part of the political resolution which credited “the creative political activity of the Zionist movement since the first Congress” with achievement of statehood. It credited the state with following a policy which “enjoys and will continue to enjoy the full support of the Zionist movement.”


The Zionist Congress, according to the resolution, “obliges the Jewish people and the Zionist movement to make every effort to strengthen peace and foster relations of understanding and cooperation between nations and to increase the power, integrity and authority of the United Nations as the principal instrument for the preservation of world peace.”

Mapam delegates sought unsuccessfully to amend this part of the resolution to add that the United nations should “be loyal to all member states and should not be converted into an instrument of one bloc against another bloc.”

The resolution voiced praise of Jewish fighters from the days of the Hashomer, the watchmen who protected the first Jewish settlements in Palestine, to the Haganah, the underground defense force of the days of the British Mandate, which became the Army of Israel.

The Mapam insisted that the Palmach, the striking force of the underground army, which was largely manned by the Hashomer Hatzair, a component of the Mapam Party, should be cited by name, The Revisionists then argued that the Irgun Zvai leumi, the Revisionist underground army, also be listed. The resolution was adopted in its original text without listings.

The Finance and Budget Commission will have to leave “distribution of the budget to a permanent budget committee meeting after the adjournment of the Congress since the allocation of funds depends largely on the agreement to be reached between the Government of Israel and the Jewish Agency on the exact spheres of activity the Zionist movement will have in Israel. Many aspects of this question must be decided by the new Israeli Government and are dependent on the extent of the Government-Agency partnership in some immigration and settlement activities.

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