Last Member of Israel's First Knesset Dies at 89

Tawfik Toubi was a founding member of the Israeli Communist Party and was a Knesset member from 1949-1990.

Former Knesset member Tawfik Toubi died Saturday, aged 89. Toubi, a Haifa resident, was the last remaining living member of the first Knesset. On Sunday, Toubi will be laid to rest in Haifa's Kfar Samir (Sde Yehoshua) cemetery.

Toubi, one of the Israeli Communist Party founders, was born in Haifa and studied at the missionary high school at Mount Zion in Jerusalem. He joined the Palestinian Communist Party (PCP) in 1941. After the PCP split in 1943, he became one of the founding members of the League for National Liberation. In 1948, members of the Arab League and Jewish members of the PCP joined forces to establish the Israeli Communist Party (ICP).

In 1949 Toubi was elected to the behalf of ICP to the first Knesset. In 1965 Toubi, together with Meir Vilner, established the Maki party, in which Toubi was the second representative of the Knesset together with Vilner. Toubi was elected as the Deputy Secretary General of the Hadash party in 1976 and from 1989-1993 served as its Secretary General.

On July 4, 1990, Toubi retired from the Knesset after over 41 years of service in senior positions. In the 18th Knesset elections Toubi was listed on the 119th and last place on Knesset list for the Hadash party.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said on Saturday that Toubi was a "valued and impressive parliamentarian" that "left his mark on the Israeli parliament," adding that he was a member of a confronting movement but "nevertheless insisted on respecting the rules of the game and knew how to apply them to himself in practice."

The Knesset