The general feeling around Jerusalem’s Jewish organizational world is that the upcoming meeting of the World Zionist Congress will be either of two extremes – boring, or a bloodbath – and much relates around how Shas, a Sephardic Haredi political party, is received in the WZO.
We’ve written before how the Diaspora member organizations of the WZO, especially the delegates from North America, truly do not understand the profound changes that may come about from the inclusion of a party with a stated goal to lessen the proportional representation in the organization of Diaspora Zionist movements and the various religious streams.
This article by Haviv Rettig Gur, from today’s The Jerusalem Post, offers some insight:
Consternation surrounds Shas joining Zionist group
… At the coming Zionist congress slated to take place in Jerusalem on June 15, Shas will formally begin its membership in the Zionist movement with delegates in proportion to the party’s representation in the Knesset.
But this development has raised concerns in the Zionist institutions, especially from liberal religious movements. According to many Reform and Conservative representatives, Shas’s membership will not be constructive, since the party intends to aggressively work to weaken the influence of non-Orthodox and Diaspora delegations.
It currently plans to present two proposals at the upcoming congress, one that will remove words celebrating Jewish pluralism from the organization’s ideological “Jerusalem program” and another that will lessen the proportional representation in the organization of Diaspora Zionist movements and religious strains.