The last surviving member of the first Knesset, Tawfik Toubi, died on Saturday at the age of 88.
Toubi, who remained an ardent communist throughout his lengthy political career, served in the Knesset for 41 years, from 1949 until 1990. Toubi was born to a Christian Arab family in Haifa in 1922, and was educated at a Christian school in Jerusalem.
Originally elected to the first Knesset on the Maki (Communist) Party List, he later split from Maki to form Rakah, and then was active in the alliance between Rakah and other leftist and Arab parties to form Hadash in 1976.
“Tawfik Toubi was one of the first parliamentarians in Israel, and left his stamp on the Israeli parliament,” said Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. “Toubi was a member of a movement that was in conflict with many in the Knesset, but still demanded respect for the rules of the game, and knew to respect them both in principle and in practice. The Knesset bows its head at the passing of a valued and impressive parliamentarian.”