Motza

Motza

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Motza ת is a neighbourhood in the western edge of Jerusalem, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, located 600 metres above sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. In the Judean Hills, surrounded by forest, it is a relatively isolated place connected to Jerusalem by the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway
Highway 1 (Israel)
Highway 1 , is the main highway connecting Tel Aviv with Jerusalem.-History:The section between Latrun and Jerusalem roughly follows an ancient path connecting Jaffa and Jerusalem...

 and the winding mountain road to Har Nof
Har Nof
Har Nof is a neighborhood on a hillside on the western boundary of Jerusalem, Israel, with a population of 20,000 residents, primarily Orthodox Jews.-History:...

. Originally the first modern Jewish village outside the city, Motza is located on the site of a Biblical village of the same name. It was the scene of a violent attack in the 1929 Palestine riots
1929 Palestine riots
The 1929 Palestine riots, also known as the Western Wall Uprising, the 1929 Massacres, , or the Buraq Uprising , refers to a series of demonstrations and riots in late August 1929 when a long-running dispute between Muslims and Jews over access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem escalated into violence...

.

History



Modern Motza's beginning can be traced to the 1859 purchase of farmland from the nearby Arab village of Qalunya
Qalunya
Qalunya was a Palestinian Arab village located west of Jerusalem.Prior to the village's destruction in 1948, with the exception of 166 dunums, Qalunya's land was privately owned: 3,594 dunums were owned by Arabs, while 1,084 dunums were owned by Jews....

 (Colonia) by a Baghdadi Jew, Shaul Yehuda, with the aid of British consul James Finn
James Finn
James Finn was a British Consul in Jerusalem, in the then Ottoman Empire . He arrived in 1845 with his wife Elizabeth Anne Finn. Finn was a devout Christian, who belonged to the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews, but who did not engage in missionary work during his years in...

. Jewish families from Jerusalem joined the enterprise, one of which ran a tile factory, among the earliest industry in the region. Despite preparation for groundbreaking and deciding on the name Motza for the place, legal complications prevented settlement, though a traveller's inn
Caravanserai
A caravanserai, or khan, also known as caravansary, caravansera, or caravansara in English was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey...

 was established at the site in 1871 by Yehoshua Yellin, a notable figure of the Old Yishuv
Old Yishuv
The Old Yishuv refers to the Jewish community that lived in the Land of Israel from the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE to the First Aliyah in 1881-82, prior to the onset of Zionist immigration....

. He built the inn on the foundation of an older Roman building. A B'nai B'rith
B'nai B'rith
B'nai B'rith International |Covenant]]" is the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was initially founded as the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith in New York City, on , 1843, by Henry Jones and 11 others....

 official eventually solved the legal problems, and finalized a deal in which the Motza residents could pay for their plots in long-term payments.

On his visit in 1898, Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl , born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl was an Ashkenazi Jew Austro-Hungarian journalist and the father of modern political Zionism and in effect the State of Israel.-Early life:...

 planted a cypress tree
Cupressus
The genus Cupressus is one of several genera within the family Cupressaceae that have the common name cypress; for the others, see cypress. It is considered a polyphyletic group...

 which became a centrepiece of the village for a time, though it was later uprooted. The tree-planting inspired David Remez
David Remez
David Remez was an Israeli politician, the country's first Minister of Transportation, and a signatory of the Israeli declaration of independence.-Biography:...

 to name the sanatorium
Sanatorium
A sanatorium is a medical facility for long-term illness, most typically associated with treatment of tuberculosis before antibiotics...

 opened in the village Arza
Arza
Arza is a small populated town and township, east of Lhasa in the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. It belongs to Lhari County of the Nagqu Prefecture. It contains solar panels....

, or cedar, even though it was a different species. The children of Motza were educated by author and researcher Moshe David Gaon, father of future star Yehoram Gaon
Yehoram Gaon
Yehoram Gaon is a Jewish Israeli singer, actor, director, producer, TV and radio host, and public figure...

. The village was the only Jewish presence in the area, as the other Jewish villages of Kfar Uria
Kfar Uria
Kfar Uria is a moshav in central Israel. Located near Beit Shemesh, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 445....

 and Hartuv
Hartuv
Hartuv or Har-Tuv was an agricultural colony in the Judean Hills established in 1883 on land purchased from the Arab village of Artuf by English missionaries. It was destroyed in the 1929 Palestine riots but was rebuilt in 1930. In 1948 it was abandoned again. Hartuv was the starting point for...

 were far to the west among the Judean foothills
Shephelah
The Shephelah is a designation usually applied to the region in south-central Israel of 10-15 km of low hills between the central Mount Hebron and the coastal plains of Philistia within the area of the Judea, at an altitude of 120-450 metres above sea level. The area is fertile, and a temperate...

.

1929 murders


Despite good relations with neighbouring Arab communities, the village was attacked during the 1929 Palestine riots
1929 Palestine riots
The 1929 Palestine riots, also known as the Western Wall Uprising, the 1929 Massacres, , or the Buraq Uprising , refers to a series of demonstrations and riots in late August 1929 when a long-running dispute between Muslims and Jews over access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem escalated into violence...

. Several residents of Kolonia attacked an outlying house belonging to the Maklef family, killing the father, mother, son, two daughters, and their two guests. Three children survived by escaping out a second-story window; one, Mordechai Maklef, later became Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army
Ramatkal
The Chief of the General Staff, also known as the Commander-in-Chief of the Israel Defense Forces is the supreme commander and Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. At any given time, the Chief of Staff is the only active officer holding the IDF's highest rank, Rav Aluf , which is usually...

. The attackers included the lone police officer and armed man in the area, as well as a shepherd employed by the Maklef family. The village was subsequently abandoned by Jews for a year's time.

The Hope Simpson Report in 1930 mentions a farmer by the name of Broza who, without any help, planted an orchard which flourished in Motza.

In 1933 the villagers also founded the neighbouring Upper Motza
Motza Illit
Motza Illit is a rural community on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel. It falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 785.Motza Illit was established as a moshav in 1933 by residents of Motza....

 (Motza Illit). Jerusalem's expansion incorporated Motza into the city.

In December 1948, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 specified that "the built-up area of Motsa" was to be included in the Jerusalem "Corpus separatum", which was to be detached from "the rest of Palestine" and "placed under effective United Nations control". However, like other provisions of Resolution 194, this was never carried out in practice, and Motza became part of the State of Israel.

Motza is today home to one of Israel's oldest wineries. In 2006, the Yellin and Yehuda families helped restore Joshua Yellin's original home, among the oldest and most derelict buildings at the site.

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