Rehaniya

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This article is about the Circassian village in modern day Israel. For the Palestinian village depopulated in 1948, see Al-Rihaniyya.
Rehaniya
Hebrew transcription(s)
 • Hebrew רִיחָאנִיָּה
Reyhaniya.jpg
Rehaniya is located in Israel
Rehaniya
Rehaniya
Location within Israel's North District
Coordinates: 33°2′54.12″N 35°29′15.36″E / 33.0483667°N 35.4876000°E / 33.0483667; 35.4876000Coordinates: 33°2′54.12″N 35°29′15.36″E / 33.0483667°N 35.4876000°E / 33.0483667; 35.4876000
District Northern
Founded 1878
Government
 • Type Local council
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,123
Name meaning myrtle

Rehaniya (Hebrew: רִיחָנִיָּה; Adyghe: Рихьаные [rəjħaːnəja]) is a predominantly Circassian village about 8 km north of Safed in northern Israel. It belongs to the Merom HaGalil Regional Council.

Background and history[edit]

The Circassians arrived in the Middle East after they were pushed out of their homeland in the North Caucasus. The Circassians, who fought during the long period wherein the Russians captured the northern Caucasus, were massacred and expelled by Tsarist Russia from the Caucasus in an incident that became known as the Circassian Holocaust. The Ottoman Empire absorbed them in their territory and settled them in sparsely populated areas, including the Galilee in Beirut Vilayet (Ottoman Syria).

The village Rehaniya was established in 1873, but only in 1878 did Circassian families arrive from the Abazah tribe in the northern Caucasus, a region where today is located the Adygea and Karachay–Cherkessia in the Russian Federation.

The village was built in the traditional Circassian style, which has its roots in the Caucasus, and is called "walled village": the houses are built next to one another and form a protective wall around the city, whose remnants remain until 2008. In the village there is a mosque in the style of Circassian mosques in the Caucasus, and substantially different from Arab mosques. Also, the village contains a museum and a center for Circassian heritage.

In 1948, during Operation Hiram (October 29–31), the villagers surrendered to the advancing Israeli army and were allowed to remain in the village. In November 1949 a plan to evict the villagers, as well as those from five other villages along the border with Lebanon, was presented to the Israeli cabinet. The proposals were strongly supported by the IDF but the plan was vetoed by the Foreign Ministry who were worried about the possible international response.[1] The village remained under Martial Law until 1966.

Rehaniya is one of two predominantly-Circassian villages in Israel. The other one is Kfar Kama, which was recognized as a local council in 1950.

References[edit]

  • The Circassians in Israel [1]
  • Muslim revivalism and the emergence of civic society. A case study of an Israeli-Circassian community [2]
  1. ^ Morris, Benny (1987) The birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947–1949. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-33028-9. pp.226,242,251.

See also[edit]