|Founded||1 September 1965(as Rakah)|
|Split from||Maki (original party)|
|Headquarters||Nazareth, Tel Aviv|
|Youth wing||Alliance of the Israeli Communist Youth|
|International affiliation||International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties|
The Israeli Communist Party (Hebrew: HaMiflega HaKomunistit HaYisra'elit, Arabic: ? ? Al-?izb ash-Shuy?'? al-'Isr?'?l?), commonly referred to by its Hebrew acronym Maki ("?), is a communist political party in Israel and forms part of the political alliance known as Hadash. It was originally known as Rakah ("?), an acronym for Reshima Komunistit Hadasha ( ? ?, lit. New Communist List), and is not the same party as the original Maki, from which it broke away in the 1960s.
Rakah was formed on 1 September 1965 due to internal disagreements in Maki. Maki, the original Israeli Communist Party, saw a split between a largely Jewish and Zionist faction led by Moshe Sneh, which was critical of the Soviet Union's increasingly anti-Zionist stance, and a largely Arab faction, which was increasingly anti-Zionist. As a result, the pro-Arab/pro-Soviet faction (including Emile Habibi, Tawfik Toubi and Meir Vilner) left Maki to form a new party, Rakah, which the Soviet Union recognised as the "official" Communist Party. The Eurocommunist faction, led by Sneh, remained in Maki. It was reported in the Soviet media that the Mikunis-Sneh group defected to the bourgeois-nationalist camp.
The 1965 elections saw Rakah party win three seats, comprehensively beating Maki as it slumped to just one. Rakah's opposition to Zionism and the Six-Day War meant they were excluded from the national unity governments of the sixth Knesset. In the 1969 elections Rakah again won three seats. During the 1973 elections Rakah saw a rise in support as the party picked up four seats.
Before the 1977 elections the party joined up with some other marginal left-wing and Arab parties, including some members of the Israeli Black Panthers to form Hadash. Hadash means "new" in Hebrew, a possible reference to Rakah's name; it is also a Hebrew acronym for The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality. In the meantime, the original Maki had disappeared after merging into Ratz in 1981. In 1989, members of Rakah decided to change the party's name to Maki to reflect their status as the only official communist party in Israel. The party remains the leading force in Hadash to this day, and owns the Al-Ittihad newspaper. The Hadash coalition currently has five members in the 23rd Knesset, as part of the Joint List.