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Maki (Rakah, Rakah)- The Israel Communist Party Definition

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Maki - The Israel Communist Party - (Hebrew acronym - haMiflagah haQomonistit ha Yisraelit) A Jewish-Arab anti-Zionist party founded in 1919 as the Palestine Communist party.

After the Prague "Slansky" Trials of 1953 caused MAPAM to break with the Soviet Union, some Mapam members, including Moshe Sneh,  joined Maki. Sneh became a leading member.

In 1965 Maki split between a largely Jewish group led by Sneh and a mostly Arab group. The Jewish group recognized Israel's right to exist and criticized the strident anti-Zionism of the USSR. The largely Israeli Arab group which was increasingly anti-Zionist. Sneh's faction kept the name Maki.

The Jewish Maki won only a single seat in the Knesset in 1965 and 1969 and was unable to win support among Jewish voters. It supported the Six Day War as a legitimate act of self-defense by Israel. Maki joined the pro-peace party, Moked in 1973 (winning a single seat belonging to Meir Pail) and in 1977 joined others on the Jewish left to form she Shelli camp (literally "mine;"acronym for Shalom Leyisrael or Shivyon Leyisrael - Peace for Israel and Equality for Israel ). That party one no seats in 1981 however, and merged into the Ratz party in 1981.

Raka'h - The pro-Palestinian faction formed the New Communist List (or Raka'h - Reshimah Qomonistit Hadasha ) which became the party recognized by the Soviet Union as the "official" Communist Party of Israel.

Rakah maintained a steady Knesset representation under the leadership of Meir Vilner.  In 1977, Rakah  formed a popular front party, Hadash . It retained a separate existence as a party however. In 1989, Rakah officially changed its name to Maki. It remains the leading force in Hadash, which usually gets about 3 seats in the Knesset.

Prominent past and present members of the Communist Party of Israel include Emile Habibi, Shmuel Mikunis, Toubi Tewfik and Esther Vilenska

Synonyms and alternate spellings: Rakach, Raka'h

Further Information: Political Parties, Israel

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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This work and individual entries are copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel


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