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Zionist Council Hits Anti-semitism, Votes Constitution Changes

January 6, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Zionist General Council, concluding a ten-day session, appealed early this morning to all nations, and particularly to West Germany, to takes urgent measures to uproot “the vestiges of Nanism and implant in their populations loyalty to democracy, to the spirit of tolerance and a decent relationship between man and man.”

The Councils, supreme organ of the World Zionist movement when the World Zionist Congress is not is season, concluded its deliberations in the shadow of the landslide wave of anti-Semitic manifestations in the Western world which had its effect on this assembly.

Dr. Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, had to intervene in the debate over the resolution on anti-Semitism on three occasions to head off amendments by the right-wing Herut Party and the left-wing Achdut Avodah, calling for increased efforts to induce the Jews to leave Germany and other countries where excesses have been committed and migrate to Israel.

As Achdut Avodah amendment would have called on the Jews to defend themselves against manifestations of anti-Semitism and would have advised the Jews of Germany to leave that country forthwith.

The Council expressed its concern and regret that there had been no improvement in the situation of the Jews living in the Soviet Union. It expressed concern over the deterioration in the status and condition of the Jews In North Africa.


The Council adopted a resolution condemning the closure of the Sues Canal to Israel shipping by the United Arab Republic as “sabotage of international law.” It urged all peace-loving countries to assist Israel in its struggle for the right of free navigation.

The Council appealed to world public opinion to denounce the boycott on Israel imposed by the Arab States. It noted “with concern and regret” that a number of firms had yielded to Arab terrorist pressure and it called on Jews throughout the world for increased vigilance against Arab boycott measures and for intensified effort to frustrate them.

In another resolution, the Council formally called upon the Zionist movement to intensify its aid in the development of the State of Israel. It welcomed steps to implement Israel National Water Scheme and said the Zionist movement should mobilize all its energy and resources to assist in the project to irrigate the Negev with the waters of the Jordan River.

The Council, expressing “grave concern” over the spread of assimilation, urged priority for Jewish education and culture in the activities of the World Zionist Organization. Another resolution stressed the importance of Hebrew education in strengthening and developing personal and spiritual ties between Jews abroad and Israel.


The Council, after prolonged debate, adopted amendment to the constitution of the World Zionist Organization providing for its reorganization on territorial lines and permitting the broadening of its membership base through the affiliation of non-Zionist organizations.

The effect of these amendments is to change the World Zionist Organisation from a direct membership organization into a federation of national or regional organizations. The shekel, traditional symbol of membership, is retained under the amended constitution, but only as proof of the individual’s right to vote for delegates to the World Zionist Congress.

The resolution on admission of non-Zionist organisations, as finally adopted, stated; “The Congress or Council, upon the Executive’s proposal, may decide to admit as members or associate members of that World Zionist Organisation such bodies as will accept the Zionist program and may make special arrangements for their firm participation in the Zionist Congress, the Council and other organs of the WZO.”

A resolution formally confirmed the Council’s decision to convene the next World Zionist Congress in December 1960. Another resolution affirmed that continuation of the Jewish National Fund was necessary for the Zionist movement. Another resolution proclaimed a commemorative year for the late Henrietta Scold, founder of Hadassah, to commence next December.

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