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Labor and Likud Strike a Deal to Keep Dinitz As Head of WZO

June 3, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

In the midst of a mudslinging election campaign, Labor and Likud have agreed to join forces — not for a government but for the World Zionist Organization.

The agreement calls for Labor’s Simcha Dinitz to be re-elected chairman of the WZO and Jewish Agency executives at the World Zionist Congress next month while a Likud figure would stay on as treasurer.

Informed sources told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the deal was hammered out at a series of unpublicized meetings between Dinitz and Police Minister Ronni Milo, representing Likud.

The sources said the new WZO Executive would be a wall-to-wall coalition like the present one with the participation of the Confederation of General Zionists, led by Hadassah; the Conservative Zionist movement, Mercaz; and Mizrachi, the religious Zionist movement.

But the Association of Reform Zionists of America would be left out, a tactic aimed at crushing the insurgency of Rabbi Richard Hirsch, head of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, who is challenging Dinitz for WZO chairman.

Hirsch is running on a platform that demands democratic elections throughout the Zionist movement and a thorough shakeup of the WZO-Jewish Agency structure. He told JTA he was not aware of a Labor-Likud deal.

But “if they want to do it, let them do it. I am not giving up,” he said.

Hirsch said he was convinced that many members of Labor and the confederation would vote for him when secret ballots are cast at the Zionist Congress in July, regardless of their parties’ positions or back-room deals.

But WZO insiders said the behind-the-scenes politicking destroyed whatever faint prospects Hirsch’s candidacy may have had.

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