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Maki (political party)

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המפלגה הקומוניסטית הישראלית
الحزب الشيوعي الاسرائيلي
LeaderCollective leadership
(Central Committee)
Meir Vilner
Tawfik Toubi
Founded1 September 1965 (1965-09-01) (as Rakah)
Split fromMaki (original party)
HeadquartersNazareth, Tel Aviv
Youth wingAlliance of the Israeli Communist Youth
Political positionFar-left
National affiliationHadash
International affiliationInternational Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties
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Election symbol

The Israeli Communist Party (Hebrew: הַמִפְלָגָה הַקוֹמוּנִיסְטִית הַיִשְׂרְאֵלִית HaMiflega HaKomunistit HaYisra'elit, Arabic: الحزب الشيوعي الاسرائيليAl-Ḥizb ash-Shuyū'ī al-'Isrā'īlī), commonly referred to by its Hebrew acronym Maki (מק"י), is a communist political party in Israel and forms part of the political alliance known as Hadash. It was originally known as Rakah (רק"ח), an acronym for Reshima Komunistit Hadasha (רשימה קומוניסטית חדשה, lit. New Communist List), and is not the same party as the original Maki, from which it broke away in the 1960s.


Rakah was formed on 1 September 1965 due to internal disagreements in Maki. Maki, the original Israeli Communist Party, saw a split between a largely Jewish faction led by Moshe Sneh, which recognized Israel's right to exist and was critical of the Soviet Union's increasingly anti-Zionist stance, and a largely Arab faction, which was increasingly anti-Zionist. As a result, the pro-Palestinian faction (including Emile Habibi, Tawfik Toubi and Meir Vilner) left Maki to form a new party, Rakah, which the Soviet Union recognised as the "official" Communist Party. It was reported in the Soviet media that the Mikunis-Sneh group defected to the bourgeois-nationalist camp.[3]

The 1965 elections saw Rakah party win three seats, comprehensively beating Maki as it slumped to just one. Rakah's opposition to Zionism and the Six-Day War meant they were excluded from the national unity governments of the sixth Knesset. In the 1969 elections Rakah again won three seats. During the 1973 elections Rakah saw a rise in support as the party picked up four seats.

Before the 1977 elections the party joined up with some other marginal left-wing and Arab parties, including some members of the Israeli Black Panthers to form Hadash. Hadash means "new" in Hebrew, a possible reference to Rakah's name; it is also a Hebrew acronym for The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality. In the meantime, the original Maki had disappeared after merging into Ratz in 1981. In 1989, members of Rakah decided to change the party's name to Maki to reflect their status as the only official communist party in Israel.[4] The party remains the leading force in Hadash to this day, and owns the Al-Ittihad newspaper. It currently has four members in the 20th Knesset, as part of the Joint List.


  1. ^ Dalia Shehori (13 January 2003). "He'll wage war on globalization and global warming". Haaretz. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  2. ^ Ilan Lior (16 January 2013). "MK Dov Khenin: Netanyahu government is dangerous for Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn", cited in edition "Välispanoraam 1972", Tallinn, 1973, lk 147 (Foreign Panorama 1972)
  4. ^ New Communist List (Rakach) Knesset website

External links