What the Elections to the World Zionist Congress Reveal about American Jewry

March 25 2020

In October, the 38th World Zionist Congress (WZC)—an institution founded by Theodor Herzl himself in 1897—will take place in Jerusalem. About one-third of those who attend will be Americans. The organization’s American branch recently held elections, which are open to any U.S. Jew willing to pay a nominal fee and agree to a bare-bones platform. The results, released on Monday, show that among the 123,629 who participated there is much support for Orthodox and right-leaning slates, and little for Hatikvah, the “progressive” slate backed by such organizations as J Street, the New Israel Fund, and Americans for Peace Now. Jonathan Tobin comments:

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More about: American Jewry, Israel and the Diaspora, J Street, Religious Zionism, World Zionist Organization

Israel Has Dodged a Constitutional Crisis, but Only Temporarily

April 3 2020

Two weeks ago, then-Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein refused to hold a vote for his replacement, insisting that, in keeping with precedent, the new speaker should only be chosen after a governing coalition has been formed. As his move prevented the newly installed Israeli parliament from resuming its normal business, the Supreme Court tried to break the impasse with two unprecedented interventions into the legislative branch. To Evelyn Gordon, Edelstein acted out of a “genuine and serious concern” about constitutionally questionable moves by his opponents, even if the court was justified in its order that elections for the new speaker take place.

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Israeli politics, Israeli Supreme Court, Knesset