Shas Now Part of World Zionist Organization

The World Zionist Organization Executive has approved by a large majority the request of the Shas movement to become a regular member of the WZO

In a meeting of the Zionist Executive – the leading body of the WZO – WZO Treasurer Hagai Meirom reported on the significant steps which the Shas movement took in order to join the WZO. The main effort was the decision of Shas to amend its party by-laws and adopt the “Jerusalem Programme”, which is an affirmation of Zionism.

The present “New Jerusalem Programme” lays out the Zionist credo and stresses the centrality of the State of Israel and of Jerusalem the eternal capital of the Jewish People. The present text was formulated over an extended period by representatives of the streams and bodies which make up the WZO and adopted at the Zionist General Council in 2004.

Meirom also reported that the director-general of the Likud world union, Rafael Cohen, sent a letter to the WZO relating that the Likud world union and Shas have signed an agreement to be a joint faction in the WZO to be called “the World Likud and Shas faction”. With this partnership, the united faction will constitute one of the factions at the 36th Zionist Congress convening in Jerusalem this June.

After these reports, a discussion was held among Zionist Executive members, followed by a vote in which the resolution to approve Shas’ request passed by a large majority. It was also decided that the number of Shas representatives in the WZO would be determined by a committee of the WZO to be set up for this purpose.

With Likud and Shas united in the WZO, it is likely a Likud nominee will be elected to head the organization during the upcoming Congress in June.