The World Zionist Congress, which has the power to allocate a billion dollars in money annually in Israel, has been ablaze with major issues around voice & power this week. Here’s a thread summing up the drama & implications between the progressive and right wing voting blocks.
TL;DR: Right wing groups banded together and have the majority numbers so they decided to propose to change the rules and make it so that progressive groups can’t vote on certain leadership positions or influence particular money. #wzc2020
That billion dollars impacts every aspect of Israeli society & global Jewish life, whether you are talking about gender equity, LGBTQ equality, the occupation, religious pluralism, or economic justice. The decisions here will impact women and families in the short and long term.
Likud (Netanyahu folks), Mizrahi (modern orthodox folks), and Eretz HaKodesh (the ultra-orthodox) joined together with others to propose “progressive groups” (Reform and Conservative) have less power through little to no representation in the national institutions.
They can technically do this because they have 304 of the 521 votes.
Progressive groups including @WUMeretz (Zionist left-wing/progressive), Labor (Israeli center-left party), @ARZAUS (Reform movement), @VoteMercazUSA (Conservative), and others collectively have 217 votes and have responded saying that this is outrageous.
In a representative body, you can’t just take away power from others just because you have the numbers. We are supposed to disagree on things and work to compromise, not cut out entire segments of the Congress.
But there are several historic Zionist orgs that have a total of 232 votes! These orgs tend to stay out of politics, but what if they got involved this one time?! These include @Hadassah, @BnaiBrith, Maccabi, @NAAMATUSA, WIZO, Emunah, and World Sephardi Federation.
So the progressive block has reached out to ask them to take a stance in this vital moment. And many of these groups were thinking of how to take a stand already. Even if one org votes with the progressive block, it could make the difference. 🙌
This morning, these groups all wrote a letter to WZC saying the proposal should be renegotiated so that there is support from all voting blocks. THE POWER OF ORGANIZING! This hints towards these groups potentially taking a stand if it came to a vote.
Rumor has it more letters are coming from these groups shortly in thanks to @Hadassah’s leadership. (hooray!)
Tomorrow is the vote. The ball is now in the right wing block’s court. Now that these typically neutral orgs have expressed concern, will they change their proposal? Withdraw it? Leave it the same and put those orgs on the spot to vote?
I didn’t run for WZC to show up & have my vote get taken away on my first day. So I’ll be organizing & doing everything I can to ensure we continue to carry out Herzl’s vision that every Jew in the world can have a voice in the most important issues confronting the Jewish state.
For those following, updates on the status of the Agreement of Principles can be found in this thread—

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