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World Zionist Congress Election Underway Jewish Post Article, 1997

The American Zionist Movement (AZM) announced that 149,400 American Jews, registered to vote in the 1997 Zionist election, are receiving ballots mailed out recently. Voters will choose among ten slates of candidates to the 33rd World Zionist Congress, to be held this December in Jerusalem. The American Zionist Movement's delegation of 145 will be the largest one representing a Diaspora community and will be democratically elected by all U.S. Zionists who are registered to vote. Delegations from other areas of the world are being chosen by agreement of Zionist organizations or by election. In Israel, the Knesset elections serve as the basis for their allocation of delegates.

Avraham Burg, Chairman of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), congratulated the American Zionist Movement on the preparations for the elections, saying, "I am committed to upholding the WZO Constitution and the democratic process. AZM's achievement is an example that the entire Jewish world can follow." Mel Salberg, President of the American Zionist Movement, acknowledged Burg's remarks, saying "The Zionist elections process in the United States is a model of democracy in action. I am pleased that the Chairman recognized AZM's important contribution and the tremendous efforts expended." He went on to say "Kudos are due AZM Executive Director Karen Rubinstein and Elections Coordinator Lee Ilan. Both worked long and diligently to bring the elections to this point. Special thanks to Moshe Kagan, Chairman of the U.S. Elections Committee, who accomplished what many believed impossible -- Kagan shepherded these elections through to their conclusion."

Slates running in this year's election are American Friends of Meretz, Revisionist Zionists of America, Association of Reform Zionists of America, Religious Zionist Movement, American Zionists for Unity and Tolerance (Baltimore Zionist District), Labor Zionist Movement, Mercaz U.S.A., Zionist Organization of America, American Friends of Likud, and World Confederation of United Zionists. Completed ballots must be received by 30 September, and election results will be available a few days afterward.

All Jewish adults who reside permanently in the United States are eligible to register to vote. The registration process involved completing a registration form, accepting the Jerusalem Program (which delineates the aims of Zionist), and paying a $2 registration fee. Those who did not register before the deadline of 22 June will not be able to do so now. The American Arbitration Association (AAA) was selected to run the elections. The hiring of an independent, election agency, together with the registration process, was done to ensure proper election. Registered voters who lost their material or do not receive ballots by early September should request a duplicate ballot by calling the AAA at 8--0405- 7244.

Jewish Anti-Semitism Against Other Jews

Yet another account from a Masorti Jew. The writer is the Noam youth group leader at Kehilat Maayanot, in Jerusalem.

The events depicted made front page of every Israeli newspaper as well as both TV chanels and all radio stations.


****************************************************************************** Masorti Movement [email protected] Rabbinical Assembly of Israel Tel:972-2-678-2433 4 Rav Ashi Street Fax:972-2-678-2441 Jerusalem, ISRAEL ******************************************************************************

From: Marne Rochester <[email protected]>

I now know what Sinat Hinam, senseless hatred, is first hand. And ironically, it was at the Kotel that I experienced this. It was because of senseless hatred that the Beit Mikdash was destroyed 2,000 years ago. Didnt we learn our lesson back then?

After a night of studying, about 100 non Orthodox Jews gathered for Shavuot prayers and to celebrate the giving of the Torah at the Kotel. We tried to find a place off to the side so as not to antagonize Haredim. But they found us.

At the beginning there were a few hecklers, but then their numbers grew. The police came over to try to protect us from them. But about half way through the reading of the Book of Ruth, the police requested that women take off their tallitot to try to calm down the Haredim. But it didnt work.

The police then told us to hurry up. They werent sure how much longer they could hold off the Haredim. While I was reading from the Torah, they attempted to drown us out. I tried reading louder and they got louder and louder. They were getting more aggressive. The atmosphere was very volatile, and again the police came over and told us we would have to move.

They cleared a path for us, and it was then that I saw what the police were protecting us from. There were thousands of Haredim up and down the stairs and balconies and surrounding us shouting at us in English and Hebrew Nazis, Goyim, Reform Jews go away, and Youre worse than the Nazis. For a Jew to call another Jew Nazi, Ive never seen such hatred. The anti-semitism I experienced living in the States doesnt even start to compare to this hatred of Jews against Jew. They were spitting and throwing things on us and the Safer Torah. A little girl got hit in the head with a rock. When the police were trying to escort us out they tried to get to us and started pushing the police and soldiers who then had to push back. Ive never been so frightened and saddened. We were there to celebrate Judaism.

We then found a spot on the other side of the gates and the Haredim followed us. Again the police said we would have to move for our own protection, and they accompanied us to a place a little up the road still within the walls. On the way we had water and coffee thrown on us and the Sefar Torah.

Eventually, we continued praying with only a few shouts from passersby and a few religious people looking on curiously. At one point when someone shouted Nazis at us, he was immediately rebuked by an orthodox women who told him to stop and said to him, Theyre Jews!


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