The World Zionist Congress takes place every 5 years, with the 38th Congress scheduled to take place in October 2020 in Jerusalem.
The Zionist Federation of Australia is charged with managing the process by which the thirteen mandates allocated to Australia are distributed among established Zionist factions, which are all affiliates of the ZFA. In line with a specific, regulated process, defined within the World Zionist Organisation’s constitution and guidelines, a committee comprising representatives from the Zionist organisations who contest Congress seats has been meeting to determine the process.
The constitution of the WZO and the guidelines issued for the preparation of the Congress stipulate that the slate of candidates from each country can be achieved either by way of a unanimous consensus among the members of the local committee, or alternatively by way of an election.
After rigorous exploration of the options and consideration of the fairest and most effective approach to determining the slate composition, the Australian Electoral Committee, comprising representatives of ARZA, Ameinu, Australian Federation of Russian Jewry, Friends of Likud, Mercaz Masorti, Meretz and Mizrachi, succeeded in negotiating a consensus slate. Australia will be represented at the 38th World Zionist Congress by 13 delegates representing the factions as follows:
• ARZA – 4 seats
• Mizrachi – 4 seats
• Mercaz Masorti – 2 seats
• Ameinu – 1 seat
• Friends of Likud – 1 seat
• Meretz – 1 seat
In addition to the factional representatives, Australians representing WUJS (AUJS), WIZO and Maccabi may be present, as part of the global delegations from these organisations.
“Australia has traditionally sent delegations which include representatives from across the spectrum of Zionist thought – including the various religious streams as well as spanning the political spectrum. This year is no exception and I am pleased and proud that our delegation will be broadly representative. The fact that this consensus was possible underscores the mutual respect that the faction leaders hold, each valuing the diversity of the joint slate” reflected Philip Chester, Chair of the Area Election Committee.
It is still unclear whether the Congress will be postponed or proceed in the normal format, due to restrictions which may still be in place due to coronavirus.