Page:Zionism 9204 Peace Conference 1920.pdf/44

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
32
[No. 162
ORGANIZATION

a nominal fee called 'shekel' (in the equivalent of currency, one shilling, franc, or mark). Each member who has paid a shekel for two successive years has one vote, and every group of 200 Shekel-payers has the right to elect a delegate to the Zionist Congress.

A delegate must be not less than 24 years of age; a deputy is generally chosen to take his place in case of unavoidable absence from the Congress.

The Congress is the legislative body of the Zionist Organization. The delegates choose from among themselves a 'Greater Actions Committee', of not less than 21, nor more than 60, members.

The Congress then elects from out of this Committee a small Executive Committee of six. Finally the Congress elects a Chairman of the Executive Committee, who is also the President of the Congress, and the Head of the whole Organization. Dr. Theodor Herzl was the first Head until his death in 1904. He was succeeded by David Wolffsohn, whose powers theoretically devolved upon the Inner Actions Committee but were in fact exercised by Dr. Haim Weizmann, a Professor of Science in the Victoria University, Manchester, who possessed great tact and force of character. The head-quarters of the organization were originally Vienna, where Dr. Herzl lived, later Cologne, then Berlin, and, since the war, Copenhagen, New York, and London. The aim of the movement has been to move the head-quarters to Palestine as soon as conditions permit, because no other country can be more than an accidental and temporary head-quarters. The most convenient centre for the majority of Zionists would be in Russia, for, though the fame of the Organization is West European, its lifeblood and strongest membership consists of Russian Jews. Berlin was only Chosen because of its proximity to Russian Jewry. The Congresses would also have been held in Russia, if the situation of Russian Jewry had been better, and public meetings had not been forbidden by law.

The adherents of the movement are formed into Societies, which in each country are nominally controlled by a local Zionist Federation, or a Zionist