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The Zionist Organization and The Jewish Agency in Palestine before 1948 (Nakba), British Mandate: A Survey of Palestine: Volume II - Page 907. Chapter XXII: Community And Religious Affairs: Section 3: (a) The Zionist Organization in Palestine
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Posted on October 28, 2007
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Section 3.


(a) The Zionist Organization.

77. Federations and Separate Unions. The Zionist Organisation, founded in Basie in 1897, is an international body divided into Federations each of which, as a rule, is co-extensive with the boundaries of a State. There exist at present Zionist Federations and groups in sixty-one countries in all parts of the world (except Russia, Turkey and some oriental countries in which Zionism is declared illegal).

As an exception to this basic form of organisation Zionists subscribing to a definite social, religious or political doctrine within Zionism may, with approval of the Organisation, combine into special units, called Separate Unions, which are allowed to remain outside Federations and have their own international headquarters. There are at present four such Separate Unions, viz. 'Mizrahi' (Orthodox religious Zionists), 'Peale Zion Hitachdut' (socialist Zionists), 'Hashomer Hatsair (socialist Zionists of a different complexion), and the 'Jewish State Party' (extreme right wing Zionists).

78. Membership. Membership of the Zionist Organisation is acquired by the annual payment of the shekel (styled after the Jewish silver coin of biblical times) and fixed for each country at the equivalent of between 50 mils and 125 mils per head. In the year 1938-39, the last year for which exact figures are available, 1,040,540 shekel-holders were enrolled in the Zionist Organisation (Poland 299,165; U.S.A. 263,741; Palestine 167,562 Rumania 60,013; United Kingdom 23,513; South Africa 22,343; Canada 15,220). The shekel is the basis of the Zionist franchise, the right to vote in the elections of the delegates to the Zionist Congress being vested in those who have paid it and who are over eighteen years of age.

70. The Organs of the Zionist Organisation. The supreme legislative body of the Zionist Organisation is the Congress which meets ordinarily once in two years. Its chief function is to receive reports of the Executive, to decide on questions of fundamental importance, to pass legislative measures and to elect the General Council and the Executive. The General Council (Actions Committee), consisting of about eighty members, meets from time to time in the period between one Congress and another. It has the same complexion as the Congress, and has the power to pass resolutions dictating action, provided they do not conflict with