Founded in 1948
The roots of Maki (HaMiflaga HaKomunistit HaYisraelit – the Israeli Communist Party), as a mixed Jewish-Arab party, are to be found in the Communist Party that existed during the British Mandatory period. After the Soviet Union supported the UN Partition Plan in 1947, Maki participated in the institutions of the provisional government (the People’s Council and the Interim State Council). A representative of Maki—Meir Vilner—was even one of the signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Following the Soviet change of heart regarding Israel in the early 1950s, Maki reverted to the anti-Zionist positions that had characterized it in Mandatory times. From that time onwards, it positioned itself as an anti-establishment party that opposed Israel’s pro-Western alignment, rejected mass-immigration of Jews to Israel, and called for the establishment of a socialist regime and for self-determination for Israeli Arabs.
Maki won significant support from Israeli Arabs. The late 1950s saw the development a deep ideological rift between two camps within the party: one camp that was predominantly Jewish (headed by Moshe Sneh) and a second camp that was predominantly nationalist-Arab (headed by Tawfik Toubi and Meir Vilner). In 1965, this rift finally brought about a split. The camp headed by Vilner and Toubi established Rakah, leaving Maki as a weakened and diluted political force that had ceased to exist as a political entity by the early 1980s. When Maki ceased to exist, Rakah adopted its name. In its present incarnation, Maki is the main component of the Hadash list.