ZF still over­shad­owed by two-year-old events

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

EVENTS SUR­ROUND­ING the pre­vi­ous Zion­ist Fed­er­a­tion con­fer­ence two years ago are still prompt­ing ques­tions.

The JC un­der­stands a del­e­gate this year queried whether the 2016 bi­en­nial — and the elec­tion of ZF lead­ers — had ac­tu­ally had enough peo­ple present to con­duct of­fi­cial busi­ness.

Ac­cord­ing to the ZF’s gov­ern­ing con­sti­tu­tion at the time, 50 del­e­gates were re­quired to make up a quo­rum. But the min­utes record only 27 present in 2016. Those present de­cided to cut the quo­rum from 50 to 20, after be­ing told this was needed to bring the ZF into line with the World Zion­ist Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WZO).

The ZF’s con­sti­tu­tion at the time nev­er­the­less stated that, to make con­sti­tu­tional changes a two-thirds ma­jor­ity of 60 mem­bers was nec­es­sary. ZF chair­man Paul Char­ney — who was re-elected for a fresh two yeart­erm on Sun­day — said ear­lier this month: “All in­quo­rate meet­ings are dealt with through a des­ig­nated process to con­tinue the run­ning of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, as was the case at the last bi­en­nial.”

The JC has also learned of an at­tempt two years ago to post­pone the 2016 con­fer­ence by a num­ber of or­gan­i­sa­tions af­fil­i­ated with the ZF.

A let­ter was sent on be­half of the Jewish Labour Move­ment, the Re­form and Lib­eral move­ments, the Pro­gres­sive and Con­ser­va­tive Zion­ist groups Pro-Zion and Mer­caz and the Re­form and Ma­sorti Zion­ist youth move­ments RSY-Net­zer and Noam,

It asked for the con­fer­ence to be put back for six months shortly be­fore it was due to take place. The let­ter said they were mak­ing the re­quest after learn­ing that the ZF was five months be­hind on Paye pay­ments and they be­lieved it would be dif­fi­cult to hold “fair and open elec­tions” at the time.

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter, Mr Char­ney had said “he has spo­ken with donors about the sit­u­a­tion and they are will­ing, to­gether with a con­tri­bu­tion from Paul Char­ney him, to cover the debt in prin­ci­ple; but that this of­fer might not stand should the forth­com­ing elec­tions re­sult in any sig­nif­i­cant change to the po­si­tion­ing of the Fed­er­a­tion.”

The let­ter said there was “a se­ri­ous risk that this sce­nario will over­shadow the democ­racy of the Fed­er­a­tion as the elec­torate may be pre­sented with a choice of po­ten­tially ren­der­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion in­sol­vent (or in se­vere fi­nan­cial cri­sis) or to bow to the po­lit­i­cal di­rec­tion of peo­ple out­side of the ZF’s own struc­tures of ac­count­abil­ity.”

In re­sponse, Mr Char­ney wrote to mem­bers of the ZF’s Na­tional Zion­ist Coun­cil to say the or­gan­i­sa­tion was four months in Paye ar­rears but had agreed funds from the WZO for this and he would “per­son­ally” would cover the rest.

He warned the coun­cil the let­ter from the JLM, Re­form, Ma­sorti and Lib­er­als con­tained “highly con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion and any dis­sem­i­na­tion of this in­for­ma­tion out­side of Na­tional Coun­cil mem­bers will be dealt with in the strictest man­ner.”

Asked by the JC about the let­ter, Mr Char­ney said its claims were false. “An un­sup­ported re­quest to post­pone was made and re­jected,” he said. “I have never made those state­ments and fair and open elec­tions were held.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.