World Zionist Organization Cancels Elections

from Haaretz:

Budget shortfall forces World Zionist Organization officials to cancel elections

A crippling financial shortfall prompted World Zionist Organization officials this week to cancel the body’s elections for the first time since 1980, Anglo File has learned. Leading officials of the world’s oldest Zionist body said the move “severely compromises” democratic values, but others disagreed.

… But the 2010 vote scheduled for this month was suspended because the WZO – an international entity which promotes Zionism worldwide – doesn’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed for the vote. Instead of elections, the delegations will reach an internal compromise.

… U.K.-born Martin Stern, a senior member of the WZO finance committee and a former audit committee member, said the WZO’s solution was “semi democratic,” but there was simply no money for elections.

He identified the June 2009 decision to split the WZO from the Jewish Agency – spearheaded by American donors seeking to weaken the influence of Israeli politicians within the Jewish Agency – as the reason for the budget shortfall. He said the WZO used to receive additional funding for congressional elections.

“The WZO, which gave birth to both the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund, is living on borrowed time,” Stern said. “Now its children have divorced the parent, and can slash funding at will.”