J Street Applauds Passage of World Zionist Congress Transparency Resolution

October 23, 2015

J Street congratulates delegates to the World Zionist Congress for overwhelmingly approving a resolution requiring the institutions it oversees to provide Jewish communities around the world with comprehensive and accurate information on their budget, finances and activities.

This was an important vote for democracy and accountability. Jews in Israel and around the world should know where the money they raise to support the State of Israel is invested. They should know that these funds are spent in ways consistent with Jewish values and in a manner that advances Israel’s future as a secure democratic homeland of the Jewish people.

For too long, the actions of vital institutions like the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael and the Settlement Division of the World Zionist Organization have operated in secrecy, cloaked in deliberate confusion. Investigations have raised serious concerns about corruption. Meanwhile, some of these organizations, under the direction of the Government of Israel, have funneled funds to strengthen settlements in the West Bank at the expense of needy communities within Israel’s 1967 boundaries.

This resolution is a step toward addressing the problem. J Street leaders and allies at the World Zionist Congress worked to advocate for its passage. We are extremely encouraged that the resolution passed the Congress with overwhelming, near-unanimous support. Backing came from across the political spectrum, from the progressive Hatikvah slate, the Reform Movement, the Conservative movement and Israel’s Labor movement all the way to delegates on the political right.

This massive support shows that financial transparency is something Jews around the world can unite around. J Street and J Street U activists have called on American Jewish leaders to ensure that their organizations are fully transparent and clear about their funding policies and operations, and we will urge them to the follow the precedent set by this vote. We will also work to ensure that the mandate passed by the Congress is urgently and thoroughly put into practice in the coming months.