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Tawfik Toubi ( , , born 11 May 1922) is a retired Israeli Arab communist politician.


Toubi was born in Haifamarker to an Arab Orthodox family in 1922, and was educated at the Mount Zion School in Jerusalemmarker. He joined the Palestine Communist Party in 1941 and later was one of the founders of the League for National Liberation, which originally opposed partition of Palestine but later came to accept it, after the Soviet Unionmarker indicated that it would support partition. He was elected to the Knessetmarker in Israel's first elections in 1949 as a member of Maki. He was re-elected in 1951, 1955, 1959 and 1961. In 1965 he was involved in a breakaway from Maki to form Rakah, and was voted back into the Knesset on the new party's list later in the same year. In 1976, he was elected secretary general of the new Hadash party, an alliance of Rakah and several other smaller left-wing and Israeli Arab parties, and was elected to the Knesset on Hadash's list in 1977, 1981, 1984 and 1988, before resigning from the Knesset in July 1990 and being replaced by Tamar Gozansky. Toubi was also publisher and editor of Arab language Communist paper "Al Ittihad". He retired from the Knesset in 1990, after a 41 year tenure.


Toubi is remembered as the exposer (along with Meir Vilner) of the Kafr Qasim massacre, and is seen by the Israeli left as a fighter against racism. He is regarded as father of the 'state of all its citizens' formula, which he brought up when the Knesset debated the Basic Law in 1985. It now appears in the Meretz-Yachad platform, and is supported by the left, the post-Zionists and all the Arab MKs. He is seen less favorably by the Israeli right, although he is remembered as more of a respected adversary than a militant anti-Zionist (such as Azmi Bishara).

In 1949, Israeli poet Nathan Alterman wrote:

Who is Tawfik Tubi? A Knesset member,

a Communist, an Arab who sits

in that House by full right...

That's democracy, not always easy,

but if we don't understand this part,

we haven't gotten anything at all.

Toubi raised the issue of the right of return for Palestinian refugees on at least two occasions in the Knesset. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, he demanded that the inhabitants of al-Birwamarker be allowed to return to their homes, a request refused by David Ben-Gurion. After the 1967 war, he requested of Moshe Dayan that the inhabitants of Yalomarker be allowed to return to this home, a request that was similarly denied.


  1. Kacowicz and Lutomski, 2007, p. 139.
  2. Karmi, 1999, p. 87.


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