The official tally has been announced of the recent US election for delegates to this October’s session of the World Zionist Congress. Our Hatikvah slate came in fifth of eleven slates, with a significantly stronger showing than last time (2006) when Hatikvah elected five delegates (and ten alternates). We increased in absolute numbers by several hundred votes out of a shrinking total — the latter down from over 70,000 in 2006 (prior to 2006, turnouts for American Zionist elections exceeded 100,000).
In recent years, the three religiously-affiliated Zionist slates– basically Reform, Conservative and Orthodox– have done best, because members of their constituent synagogues are natural venues for their campaigns. This year, a new list, the American Forum for Israel– representing the Russian-Jewish community in the US– came in fourth, similarly due to having a “natural” constituency for targeting its campaign effort. It also should be noted that the first and second place finishers (the Reform and Conservative slates — especially the former) are generally our allies on liberal resolutions.
And it was especially gratifying this time that Hatikvah polled more than four times the vote of a new competitor called the Alliance for New Zionist Vision, which campaigned as “progressive” yet clearly ran on a platform that opposed a two-state solution. We ran afoul of their campaign with a telling blog post by Maya Haber, which exposed them for who they are, and ignited a mini-firestorm of attention as a result. We also outpolled the right-wing Zionist Organization of America, which had attempted to disqualify our slate in the Zionist supreme court (yes, there is such a thing — and not an Israeli state court), by arguing that PPI’s advocacy of boycotting West Bank settlements makes Hatikvah “pro-BDS” and therefore “anti-Zionist”.
This is the message received last week from the American Zionist Movement, that oversaw the US election:
We are pleased to report to you that 56,737 votes were counted in the 2015 US elections to the 37th World Zionist Congress.
Below is the count by slate, and the distribution of the 145 delegates.
Election of American Delegates to the 37th World Zionist Congress Slate Votes Final Delegate Distribution ARZA: Representing Reform Judaism 21,766 56* Mercaz USA: The Zionist Arm of the Conservative Movement 9,890 25 Religious Zionists: Vote Torah for the Soul of Israel 9,594 24 American Forum for Israel 3,773 10* HATIKVAH – The Progressive Zionist Voice 3,148 8 ZIONIST ORGANIZATION of AMERICA/ZOA: DefendJews&IsraeliRights 2,738 7* Zionist Spring: Restoring Vision to World Zionism 2,696 7* World Sephardic Zionist Organization – Ohavei Zion 1,650 4 Alliance for New Zionist Vision 735 2* Green Israel: Aytzim/Green Zionist Alliance/Jewcology 443 1 Herut North America – The Jabotinsky Movement 304 1* 56,737 145 Electoral Factor 391.2896552
The electoral factor for this election was 391.3 votes. For every 391.3 votes a slate wins a delegate. By this method 139 delegates were distributed among the slates. The six additional delegates were distributed to the slates with the highest fractions (remainders).
An asterisk (*) following a number indicates that one delegate was won by virtue of getting a remainder. …