Tawfik Toubi is a Christian-Arab Communist politician, who served as a
Member of the Knesset during the years 1949 – 1990.
Toubi was born in 1922 in Haifa. He studied at the missionary high
school at Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and in 1941 he joined the Palestinian
Communist Party. In 1943 he was among the founders of the League for National
Liberation, which was initially opposed to the Partition Plan, but ultimately
supported it following the speech given in its favor by Soviet Ambassador to the
United Nations Andrei Gromyko. Toubi and his political allies later accused the
imperialist powers and the reactionary Arab leadership, as well as the Israeli
government, of not establishing a Palestinian state in 1948.
From 1943 to 1949, Toubi was employed by the Public Works Department of
the British Mandate Government. Following the establishment of the State, he
joined the Central Committee of the Israeli Communist Party and was elected on
its behalf to the First Knesset. Israeli poet Natan Alterman wrote about him in
1949: “Who is Tafik Toubi? He is a Knesset Member; he is an Arab communist. By
right and not by grace does he sit in the parliament; As all other members, he
too sits in it by virtue of the law…”
Beginning in the 1950’s, Toubi was a member of the presidium of the
National Committee for Peace and the presidium of the World (Communist) Peace
Council. In 1976 he was elected as Deputy Secretary General of the Hadash
party, serving as its Secretary General from 1989 – 1993.
Toubi retired from the Knesset after more than 40 years as its member,
following a rotation agreement within Hadash, and was replaced by Tamar
Gozansky. Throughout his tenure he was distinguished by his fine manners and
was considered as a parliamentary role model. Following his retirement, he
continued to be the editor and publisher of the Communist Party’s newspaper “Al
Ittihad,” published daily since 1983.
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