Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Azf, Uzr in Bitter Dispute over Election Issue to Zionist Congress

October 28, 1976
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The American Zionist Federation and the United Zionist-Revisionists are embroiled in a bitter dispute over the decision last July by the Zionist General Council not to hold elections for delegates to the 29th World Zionist Congress opening in Jerusalem next January.

The AZF adopted a strong resolution of censure against the UZR for taking its case to the New York State civil courts before exhausting internal Zionist legal machinery. The UZR, in a statement issued today, blasted the AZF for allegedly trying to deny 750,000 American Zionists their democratic rights.


The AZF’s resolution, adopted by the umbrella organization of the American Zionist movement at its convention at Grossingers last week by a vote of 122-13, “deplored, condemned and censured” the UZR “for their breach of Zionist morality and organizational discipline and their subversion of Zionist principles.”

The resolution said that “in bypassing the internal procedures, the UZR have delivered a pernicious blow to the Zionist movement and provided aid and comfort to those who are all too ready to gloat over any weakening of our movement.” It called on all constituent organizations of the AZF to “close ranks” against the UZR unless the court proceedings, commenced by its president, Prof. Howard L. Adelson, are promptly withdrawn.


Adelson responded today in a statement saying, “We have tried repeatedly to negotiate our differences with major parties of the AZF. Our demands for democracy and our attempt to have a delegation from the United States at the World Zionist Congress which accurately reflects the political views of American Jews have met the crudest attempts at suppression.”

Adelson contended that the major Zionist groups comprising the AZF had no desire “to allow the Zionist masses to be heard and to maintain the democratic Zionist tradition….The resolution of the AZF is simply further confirmation of the attempt to suppress dissension.” Abraham Silverstein, UZR treasurer, said in a separate statement that “It is our firm intention to see this matter through to a successful conclusion.”

Last week the Zionist Executive in Jerusalem expressed displeasure with the UZR’s resort to a U.S. court in the dispute and urged it to refrain from trying to solve an internal controversy through an external legal system. The Zionist Executive took up the issue after receiving a cable from Mrs. Faye Schenk, president of the AZF, protesting the UZR’s action.

Recommended from JTA