A. General Matters
1. The Peace Process
Peace and security are a supreme value for the entire Jewish People. Achieving peace accords between Israel and her neighbours is a national need for every Jew wherever he/she may live.
The Jewish communities in the Diaspora identify with what is happening in Israel, including the peace process.
The Zionist General Council sees the need for peace treaties as a high priority and calls on the Government of Israel to achieve peace and security by means of a compromise between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the other Arab countries which have not yet signed peace treaties with Israel.
The Zionist General Council commends the Prime Minister and the negotiating team on progress in the peace accords between us and the Palestinians and notes the important role of the President of the United States and his team in bringing the sides to agreement while ensuring the principle of reciprocity and maintaining the security of Israel.
2. Support of Students
WHEREAS higher education in Israelis one of the most important objectives of the State of Israel and is connected with the future of a democratic, Jewish and modern state; and
WHEREAS higher education in Israelis an outstanding Zionist magnet for drawing Jewish students from all around the world - a project about which the Zionist Movement has been zealous for decades; and
WHEREAS at this time, Israeli students are struggling to lower the burdensome high tuition which, as the cost of living goes up, causes them suffering and real difficulties and puts the continuation of their studies in doubt for many of them,
The Zionist General Council identifies with the demands of the students and calls on the Government of Israel and the Ministry of Finance to assist the students by means of a significant cut in tuition to the universities.
3. Yitzhak Rabin z"l
The Zionist General Council at its XXXIII/2 session and upon the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel, is meeting in Jerusalem three years after the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin z"l.
The Zionist General Council bows its head in sadness and shock at the murder of a prime minister at the hands of an extremist.
The Zionist General Council at its XXXIII/2 session strongly condemns any demonstration of violence, aggression and lack of tolerance and states that in an orderly society it is possible to deal with differences in world views only by means of democratic processes and not by means of aggression and murder.
The Zionist General Council expresses deep concern over the increase in verbal and physical violence in light of political differences in Israeli society and strongly condemns vilification and threats against any prime minister and members of his cabinet.
Yitzhak Rabin, soldier and commander, general and statesman, was murdered by an extremist while he was in the midst of the implementation of the peace process between us and the Palestinian people. His pioneering
Zionist way, full of belief and action in building our independence, will be a guiding light for future generations.
4. Establishing a Committee for Implementing the Resolutions regarding the Independence of the Zionist Movement
The Zionist General Council instructs the Executive to establish a committee, including Executive members, public figures and representatives from Israel and the Diaspora, which would propose ways of implementing the resolutions of the 33rd Zionist Congress and XXXIII/2 session of the Zionist General Council regarding the independence of the Zionist Movement.
Recommendations of this committee will be presented for discussion at the Zionist General Council session in June 1999.
The Executive will report regularly to members of the Zionist General Council on progress on the work of the Committee.
B. Legislative Matters
1. Constitutional Amendment: Representation of the Zionist Council in Israel
WHEREAS the XXXII/8 session of the Zionist General Council (23/12/97) recommended that "the status of the Zionist Council in Israel be regulated in the Constitution of the World Zionist Organization at the Zionist General Council session taking place in 1998".
Therefore be it resolved to amend the Constitution of the World Zionist Organization (hereinafter: "the Constitution") as follows:
To add a new paragraph to Article 26 Section 4 (regarding the composition of Congress) which would read:
1.1. The Zionist Executive, with the consent of the Zionist General Council, may make an agreement with the Zionist Council in Israel, granting this body representation with voting rights on Congress, on the Zionist General Council and other organs of the World Zionist Organization.
1.2. The voting rights as mentioned in par. (1) above will be limited, and no representative of the Zionist Council in Israel will participate in elections to the institutions of the World Zionist Organization nor vote in matters of candidature. Therefore, notwithstanding the above generalities, these representatives will not participate in elections according to Articles 14 (e)-(g) and Article 32 Section 1 and 4.
1.3. Notwithstanding what is stated in this Constitution and its Regulations, representatives of the Zionist Council in Israel will not join any faction of Congress or the Zionist General Council.
1.4. The representatives of the Zionist Council in Israel will not be taken into account in the number of delegates to Congress, according to Article 17 of the Constitution."
2. Constitutional Amendment: Chairman of the Workers' Committee
Be it resolved to amend Article 41 C of the Constitution as follows:
"The Chairman of the Workers' Committee of the employees of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization will serve, ex officio, as an observer on the Executive without the right to vote".
Interim Instructions: This amendment will become valid only at the beginning of the term of the next elected Chairman of the Worker's Committee, and will not apply to the Worker's Committee Chairman serving at the time of the passing of this resolution.
C. Zionist Activity
1. Goals of the Zionist Movement:
1.1. To be a framework for the national organizations working for the fulfillment of Zionism.
1.2. To strive towards strengthening Zionist awareness and disseminating it as a way of life, based on the recognition of the uniqueness of the Jewish People, the continuity of its history, national unity, mutual responsibility of all segments and their joint responsibility for the historic fate of the State of Israel and ensuring its future and centrality in Jewish life.
1.3. To strive for the realization that aliyah to Israel is a value of ultimate importance.
1.4. Turning the Hebrew language into the language of the Jewish nation, while advancing and recognizing Jewish values and pluralism.
1.5. To maintain and strengthen the pioneer Zionist youth movements.
1.6. Strengthening young leadership in the territorial movements and integrating them into the Zionist leadership.
2. Tools and Objectives
2.1. The basis for realizing these aims will be the educational activity carried out by the pioneer Zionist youth movements, youth organizations, students, the young generation and Dor Hemshech, in order to create young leadership and continuity of Zionist activity.
2.2. The objective of the educational activity will be strengthening Jewish identity and free Zionist awareness which places the State of Israel in the center of the experience of the Diaspora Jewish community.
2.3. The World Zionist Organization in the 3rd millennium must be a federation of organizations which have Zionism as their central axis. At the same time, individual affiliation should be made possible through membership in the territorial movement.
3. Equality between the Genders in Material Produced by the World Zionist Organization
In view of the 100th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress and the 50th anniversary of Israel's independence, we, the assembled members of the Zionist General Council call for the Zionist Movement to ensure that the educational and hasbara material produced by the World Zionist Organization for in Zionist and Jewish education in the Diaspora and for hagshama activities, relate in an equal manner to both genders, in both content and language.
We urge that equal emphasis be given to the recognition of the vital contributions made to the building of the country by members of both genders.
We ask institutions of the Zionist Movement to see to it that the contributions made by chalutzot (women pioneers) in the pre-state era be added to Zionist educational material to enable their equal representation in it.
We expect a report to be presented to the next meeting of the Zionist General Council affirming that at least two pieces of material produced by both the Education and Hagshama Departments will reflect the implementation of this concept.
4. Increasing Educational Activity
The Zionist General Council calls for the increase of educational activity among the young generation and for the allocation of the necessary resources for this.
The Zionist General Council calls for the intensification of the struggle against assimilation and mixed marriages among the young generation in the Diaspora by expanding Jewish education and struggling against ignorance in the areas of Jewish history, religion and culture and the lack of knowledge of the Hebrew language.
This educational activity is an absolute precondition for strengthening Jewish identity and intensifying solidarity of young Diaspora Jews with the Jewish people and the State of Israel. This educational activity is intended to strengthen the Jewish communities in the Diaspora and increase aliyah to Israel.
5. The Electronic University of the Jewish People
The Zionist General Council acknowledges the extraordinary increase of Jewish educational activities taking place through the Internet.
The Zionist General Council expresses its approval of training and educational activities, opportunities, college-level courses and complementary adult education initiatives in Jewish education currently being made available through the Internet and thus contributing to endeavors in Jewish continuity.
6. Funding of Administrative Expenses of Zionist Federations
WHEREAS the Zionist Executive decided to withdraw administrative funding to Zionist Federations in the 1998 budget year and instead decided to provide funding only for projects, proposed by Zionist Federations and approved by the Zionist Executive; and
WHEREAS that decision is in direct conflict with the will and the resolutions of the Zionist Congress; and
WHEREAS the execution of that decision will ruin the Zionist Federations' existing administrative infrastructure, necessary to initiate and carry out any activity or project; and
WHEREAS in the past years the Zionist Federations' administrative infrastructure, as a result of earlier budgetary cutbacks, has already been reduced to an operational minimum; and
WHEREAS consequently the decision to withdraw administrative funding to Zionist Federations is counter-productive to its own apparent goals, namely to reinforce Zionist activities and the implementation of Zionist projects,
Be it therefore resolved:
In relation to the decision of the Zionist Executive regarding the withdrawal of administrative funding to the Zionist Federations in 1998, the Zionist General Council instructs the Zionist Executive to provide funding, beginning from 1999, to the Zionist Federations in order to develop and/or maintain an organizational infrastructure that will operate efficiently and will carry out Zionist activities and projects, in accordance with the Jerusalem Program, the decisions of the Zionist Congress and the Zionist General Council, while taking into account local needs and circumstances.
7. Aims and Goals of the World Zionist Organization
Further to the resolutions of the 33rd Zionist Congress, the Zionist Movement will prepare itself for an independent organizational structure and independent Zionist activity, beginning from 1.1.2000. The aims and goals of the Zionist Movement will be:
7.1. Fostering hagshama activities in the young generation as a meaningful factor in the leadership of Jewish communities.
7.2. Ideological Zionist education in Israel and the Diaspora.
7.3. Encouraging aliyah from the West.
7.4. Continuation of the partnership in the Jewish Agency in the financial field in order to ensure Jewish-Zionist education, promotion of aliyah to Israel from all the Jewish communities, and strengthening the link between Israel and the Diaspora on the basis of the centrality of Israel in the lives of all Jews.
7.5. Establishing a popular movement for students of Hebrew.
7.6. Integrating the Keren Kayement Le-Israel as a valuable and strong Jewish-Zionist instrument.
8. Aliyah from South Africa
The Zionist General Council views aliyah as the fulfillment of the highest Zionist goal for generations and calls upon the leaders of the Movement abroad to set a personal example and come on aliyah.
The Zionist General Council views with great concern the emigration of Jews from countries of economic distress to other Diaspora countries and calls for the establishment of a special emergency mechanism to deal with these communities.
The Zionist General Council calls for the allocation of special resources for the aliyah and absorption in Israel of South African Jews, who are leaving their country of current residence in large numbers but are mostly preferring to emigrate to other Diaspora communities.
The Zionist Movement must not miss this opportunity to bring them to Israel.
9. Zionist Federations
The Zionist General Council calls on all the Zionist Federations to strengthen their activity and open their doors to all the organizations, religious streams and ages in order to be relevant to the Jewish public in every country, by such means as: the study of Hebrew, student activities, hagshama movements, and activities of solidarity with Israel. Every Federation will design its specific activities in accordance with the local circumstances and conditions.
The Zionist General Council calls on the Zionist Executive to operate in such a way that the activities of the Jewish Agency abroad will be implemented under one roof
1. The Zionist Hagshama Youth Movements
The Zionist Hagshama youth movements are the spearhead of the Zionist Movement. They are a basic component of building young Zionist leadership in the Jewish communities in the Diaspora and are the reserve for aliyah to Israel, while educating towards hagshama.
The Zionist General Council demands to uphold the resolutions of the 33rd Zionist Congress, establishing the importance of the youth movements for hagshama.
The Zionist General Council demands that the budgets of the youth movements will not be cut but will be increased, in order that the youth movements fulfill the objectives and tasks with which they are charged.
2. Long-Term Programs
WHEREAS long-term programs (programs in Israel lasting at least six months) are experiential and educational programs meant for encouraging hagshama; and
WHEREAS long-term programs in Israel create important encounters between Diaspora youths and students and Israelis of all ages in communities throughout Israel; and
WHEREAS long-term programs in Israel are the most effective tool for promoting aliyah among young Jews from the West,
Be it resolved that recruitment for long-term programs be a high priority in the World Zionist Organization and that they should be viewed as an important tool for encouraging Zionist activity within Israeli society.
3. Youth and Students
3.1. The Zionist Movement is deeply concerned about the diminishing size of the Jewish People and that in this era of "acceptance" by the surrounding non-Jewish world, a situation has been created in which ever-larger numbers are dropping out and assimilation is reaching worrying proportions.
3.2. The Zionist Movement believes that reinforcement and enhancement of Jewish education and the increase of frameworks for Jewish study can serve as a block against assimilation.
3.3. The Zionist Movement calls for expansive allocation of resources in order to establish Jewish learning frameworks wherever Jews live, whatever their age and their level.
3.4. The Zionist Movement calls for the establishment of a recruitment network whose function will be to reach out to those Jews who are not affiliated with Jewish educational or activity frameworks, to convince them to join, on the basis of "a friend brings a friend".
3.5. The Zionist Movement calls for support of Jewish student organizations throughout the world, for help in developing their activities on the campuses through means and content.
3.6. In its belief in the value of a visit to Israel as a means for maintaining world Jewry, the Zionist Movement calls for the establishment of a scholarship fund that would finance trips of Jews to Israel so that there would be no Jew who has not visited the State of Israel.
3.7. The Zionist Movement calls for the establishment of a University of the Jewish People in Israel, to enable Jews from all over to come and study in Israel according to their system.
3.8. The Zionist Movement calls for improvement of the "Bar and Bat Mitzvah in Israel" project, gives priority to joint summer camps for Israeli and Diaspora Jewish youth on a regular basis, encouragement of Jewish university students to pursue academic studies in universities in Israel and the establishment of a comprehensive network of Hebrew ulpanim in every active Diaspora Jewish community.
3.9. The Zionist Movement considers the strengthening of Jewish education and activity among youth and students in the CIS a top priority that will guarantee the prevention of assimilation and the loss of members of our People and calls on the Government of Israel to allocate resources and special manpower for this purpose.
4. Informal Education
4.1. The Zionist Movement calls on the new Education Department in the Jewish Agency to give priority and resources to informal education. Youth movements which educate towards aliyah must continue to receive assistance from the new department, especially in fields such as shlichim, the Institute for Training Youth Leaders from Abroad, long-term Israel Experience programs and funding of youth movements.
4.2. Whereas there lies significant potential in Latin America for Zionist hagshama, there should be a significant increase in budget for activities and shlichim in certain places, in fields such as informal education and shlichut, and shlihim from Israel who help to achieve the ultimate goal - aliyah.
4.3. The World Zionist Organization will make sure that a program be formulated enabling preparatory training and integration of youth and students in the future meetings of the World Zionist Organization, including the Zionist General Council and Zionist Congress.
5. Zionist Youth Movements
The Zionist youth movements are the most important chance for raising a new generation among the Jewish People, one which can inherit its heritage and create its future. The Zionist youth movements prepare the young people for leadership, lead to aliyah by choice, and enliven the Zionist idea as a challenge of hagshama.
The Jewish Agency, as it assumes responsibility for Jewish education, must assume responsibility for Zionist education by developing youth movements.
E. Means of Achieving Financial Independence
1. Properties of the World Zionist Organization
The Zionist General Council instructs the Zionist Executive to take all the necessary measures in order to preserve all properties registered in the name of the World Zionist Organization and ensure its rights in them.
2. Financing the Zionist Movement
It is hereby resolved that the financing of the Zionist Movement in the future will come from the following sources: the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Lelsrael and the Government of Israel.
The Zionist General Council instructs the Zionist Executive to act urgently with the various organizations, principally the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Lelsrael and the Government of Israel, in order to ensure suitable sources of funding for the independent existence of the Zionist Movement starting January 1, 2000.
The Executive will present the results of its activity to the Zionist General Council in June 1999, in order to determine the policy of the Zionist Movement at that time.
F. Means of Representation in the Legislative Institutions
1. Representation in the Zionist Congress
The World Zionist Organization is a democratic organization and therefore the representation to the Zionist Congress will be based on one person, one vote and on the basis of the payment of a membership fee the "Zionist shekel" by every member of the organization.
In addition, each country will be represented by at least one representative.
Be it further resolved that all organizations in any territorial Zionist Federation must be in good standing in order to participate in the election process as well as in the election.
2. Publication of Parties' Agreements regarding elections to the Zionist Executive
Prior to the election of the members of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization, all agreements between parties with regard to personnel, departments, the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of the World Zionist Organization and its related departments in the Jewish Agency shall be published and brought before all the delegates to the Zionist Congress.
3. Coordination Committee with the Government
The Zionist General Council calls on the Government of Israel and the Zionist Executive to renew the activity of the coordination committee between the World Zionist Organization and the Government of Israel.
4. Representation of Youth in the Institutions of the World Zionist Organization
The Zionist General Council views with overriding importance increasing the number of youths, students and young leadership among the institutions of the World Zionist Organization.
The Zionist General Council instructs the Executive to present a proposal for constitutional amendment to the Zionist General Council session taking place in June 1999 which would ensure that at least 50% of the delegates of the Zionist Congress and members of the Zionist General Council be of the young generation and young leadership.
G. Zionist Activity in Israel
1. Advancement of Holocaust Studies
The Zionist General Council urges that money of Holocaust victims or found in banks and insurance companies around the world, be allocated to supporting the financing of higher education for Jewish students from the Diaspora and Israel, in Israel, and strengthening Holocaust studies.
Thus the moral obligation for the continuity and future of the Jewish People will be fulfilled.
The Zionist Executive must conduct discussions with factors in the Jewish world dealing with this issue.
2. Strengthening Social Solidarity within Israeli Society
We, the Zionist General Council members, out of concern over the social-economic instability of Israeli society, urge Zionist activity in Israel for strengthening social solidarity, closing the gaps in Israeli society and fortifying it on the basis of social justice.
3. Zionist Council in Israel
3.1. The Zionist General Council welcomes the declaration of the Zionist Council in Israel regarding expansion of its activity in Israel among the young generation, students and others, for the sake of bringing all segments of the population together and strengthening the Zionist camp in Israel.
3.2. The Zionist General Council notes the initiative of the Zionist Council in Israel for holding a "Zionist gathering in Israel". The gathering will deal with issues of concern for Israel society, Zionism in Israel and around the world, and will propose practical methods of voluntary activity among activists for implementing ideas and proposals.
The Zionist General Council calls on all the organizations to allocate appropriate budgets for this unique Zionist activity.
3.3. The Zionist General Council calls on the Zionist Council in Israel to increase its activity for the sake of developing direct links between Diaspora Jewish communities and branches of the Zionist Council in Israel.
1. Election of Member of the Presidium of Zionist General Council
In accordance with Article 35 Section 2 of the Constitution, the Zionist General Council, in recognition and esteem, elects Dr. Yosef Burg as a member of the Presidium of the Zionist General Council, in place of Solly Sacks, who resigned. Notwithstanding what is stated in Section 4 par. 4 of the Standing Orders of the Zionist General Council, the Zionist General Council elects Solly Sacks as deputy member of the Presidium with voting rights solely when Dr. Burg is absent from a Presidium meeting for any reason whatsoever.
2. Election of Member of the Executive
In accordance with Article 43 Section 2 of the Constitution, the Zionist General Council elects Amir Peled as member of the Executive instead of Itamar Herman who resigned.