Writer and former Knesset Member Mohammed Nafa’h has been reelected as the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI). Nafa’h’s reelection took place during the first session of the CPI’s Central Committee which itself was elected in the course of the party’s last congress, its 26th, held in Haifa and Nazareth last month. MK Mohammed Barakeh chaired the session.
Nafa’h, who during the 1980s served as Secretary General of the Young Communist League of Israeli (Banki-Shabiba), was first elected Secretary General of the Communist Party in 1993 and completed his term in 2002. He was reelected to this position in 2007 and, as mentioned, the newly elected Central Committee of the CPI has now decided, by a majority of votes, to once again reelect him. Nafa’h’s opponent in this election was Aida Touma-Suleiman, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPI and editor of the party’s daily Arabic newspaper Al Ittihad. The Central Committee’s elections for Secretary General were conducted by secret ballot in which Nafa’h received 31 votes against 16 for Touma-Suleiman with one abstention. During the same session, Sameh Iraqi was unanimously elected to the position of coordinator of the party Secretariat.
Mohammed Nafa’h during the last CPI Congress, March 2012 (Photo: Al Ittihad)
Also elected during this session were the members of party’s Political Bureau who, together with Nafa’h, will serve in this body: Majed Abu-Yunis; Jamil Abu-Ras, Chairman of the Hadash faction in the Histadrut; MK Afu Agbaria; Abdallah Abu-Maarouf; MK Barakeh, Chairman of Hadash; Mansour Dahamshe; Efraim Davidi; MK Dov Khenin; Ofer Casif; Issam Makhoul; Adel Amer; Hassan Sharaf, and Aida Touma-Suleiman. Besides the election of the CPI’s Secretary General, its Political Bureau and the party Secretariat, the session held last Friday in the Friendship House in Nazareth discussed the party’s preparations for May 1 and the elections for the Histadrut and Na’amat to be held on May 22. Particularly noteworthy in this session was the first-time participation of a large group of young men and women, Jews and Arabs, who were elected to the leadership of the CPI by the 26th party conference in March, among them key activists during last summer’s social protest. Before the convening of the Central Committee session, the members of the party’s Central Auditing Committee met and decided to hold elections for the committee’s chairperson in their next meeting.
Following the presentation of reports on the ongoing preparations to mark the upcoming International Worker’s Day, and the mobilization of activists from the CPI and Hadash for the two main demonstrations to be held in Tel-Aviv and Nazareth, along with other rallies, demonstrations, and marches, as well as about the activity of the “Social Home” coalition (in which the CPI and Hadash are participating) towards the upcoming elections for the Histadrut and Na’amat, a number of political decisions were made, among them: a call to increase the involvement of all CPI members in the election campaign for the Histadrut and Na’amat; the party’s demand to discontinue the political trial against MK Barakeh scheduled to resume in a Tel-Aviv court the next day, and a call for members of CPI and Hadash to be present during the court session; the holding of the annual event marking the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany; the continuation and strengthening of the social protest movement to be renewed this summer; and sharp condemnation of Israel’s repressive measures against European peace activists whose arrival in the country, to express support for the Palestinian struggle for independence, the authorities attempted to prevent.