Vying for seats at World Zionist Congress, liberal newcomers like Peter Beinart hope to block Israeli settlements funding

Jewish Israelis seen in the West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron, Nov. 19, 2019. (photo: Amir Levy / Getty Images)
In upcoming election new candidates hope to nudge efforts toward addressing the Israeli occupation of the West Bank more directly.

By Ron Kampeas  |  Jewish Telegraphic Agency  |  Dec 24, 2019

The candidates hope to steer funding away from Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and toward causes like expanding rights for women and minorities.

The list includes names like Peter Beinart, the liberal writer; Jeremy Ben-Ami, th president of the liberal Middle East policy group J Street; and Sheila Katz, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women.

No, it’s not an ad for a symposium on the Upper East Side, but a slate of first-time candidates seeking seats in the 38th World Zionist Congress, the legislative authority of a 120-year-old Zionist organization that helps determine the fate of $1 billion in spending on Jewish causes.

Elections, which are open to Jews 18 and over anywhere in the world, are held every five years. The next ones will be held between Jan. 21 and March 11.

The candidates hope to steer funding away from Jewish settlement expansion in the West Bank and toward causes like expanding rights for women and minorities. The second paragraph of the group’s platform notes its opposition to “the current policy of permanent occupation and annexation,” which it calls “unjust” and a threat to Israeli democracy.

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