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Moves Under Way to Decide Next Wzo, Jewish Agency Chairman

June 28, 1977
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The Labor Party is pondering whether to nominate a candidate to oppose Leon Dulzin for the dual post of chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency Executives when the 29th World Zionist Congress convenes here next February. Dulzin, of Likud, who is Treasurer of the Jewish Agency, is virtually certain to seek the office that has eluded him in the past. The incumbent, Labor veteran Yosef Almogi, has announced he will not stand for re-election though he will finish out his term.

Top Labor Party officials are privately sifting through a list of possible candidates to find one who is well-known to diaspora Jews as well as in Israel and who commands the respect and prestige necessary to overcome Dulzin’s advantage of being a member of Israel’s governing party. It is acknowledged by Labor that unless the Likud-led government makes a serious misstep that would discredit it, Congress delegates from abroad would be loathe to vote against Dulzin lest it be interpreted as a vote of no-confidence in the government.

Labor Party sources are stressing, therefore, that a decision to contest the WZO-Jewish Agency chairmanship will be made only if the party is convinced that it has a chance to win. Some of Labor’s most powerful figures are said to be under consideration.

These include former Foreign Minister Yigal Allon and Yitzhak Navon, chairman of the Zionist General Council, who is highly regarded in Israel and abroad. Also mentioned is former Foreign Minister Abba Eban and former Premier Golda Meir. Eban’s candidacy would be considered only if his current difficulties with the Treasury over his American bank accounts are resolved in his favor.

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