Muhammad Naffa, Former General Secretary of the CPI, Dies at Age 82

The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) expresses its deep mourning on the passing of our comrade, author and Communist leader Muhammad Naffa (Abu Hisham), a great loss for the Palestinian people, for all progressive forces in the country and the world, and for the International Communist Movement. Comrade Naffa departed on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Communist leader Muhammad Naffa (Abu Hisham) during a May Day rally in Nazareth, 2002

Communist leader Muhammad Naffa (Abu Hisham) during a May Day rally in Nazareth, 2002 (Photo: Al Ittihad)

Comrade Naffa has spent his entire life on the path of political struggle and activism, fighting against war and occupation, racial discrimination, imperialism, colonialism and reactionism in all their manifestations, for the freedom and independence of his Palestinian people, and for social justice throughout the country and the around the world.

Our beloved comrade was born on May 14, 1939 in the Galilean village of Beit Jann where, from a very young age, he was involved in the struggle of his people and comrades against compulsory military service for the Arab Druze community, and at the same time joined the Young Communist League of Israel (YCLI), then the Communist Party, where he spent his entire life as an active member until his final day.

Comrade Muhammad Naffa filled several leading positions in the party. He acted as the General Secretary of the YCLI during the 1980s and became the General Secretary of the CPI in the 1990s and 2000s. He was also a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, between 1990 and 1992, for Hadash, the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality.

Comrade Abu Hisham, as we all fondly called him, held resolute positions, and had a broad, far-sighted and clear reading and vision of all issues surrounding Palestinian society. For all of us, he provided a genuine patriotic compass, and was uncompromisingly in his leading of the party on the basis of Marxist-Leninism.

Alongside being the editor-in-chief of Al-Ittihad newspaper, Comrade Naffa was a writer of novels and short stories. His creative texts are unique for their exquisite language derived from the tradition and nature of his homeland and the deep conviction of his internationalist and Palestinian identity. Our late comrade published intensively and won wide readership.

Comrade Muhammad Naffa, with his long-life partner, dearest comrade Nayfi, raised their sons on the same social and political principles they adopted. Their sons refused compulsory military service, and faced imprisonment in military facilities, which only made their patriot revolutionary beliefs stronger.

The Communist Party and Hadash alongside their cadres and supporters sadly bid farewell to our beloved revolutionary comrade Muhammad Naffa.