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The New Zion Two Peoples, Two Places, One Story: A Comparison of Land Acquisition Techniques and Justifications Used by both American and Israeli Pioneers

Faculty Supervisor:
Mark Jantzen
Year of Project Completion:
Annam Hasan


Europeans moving to America between 1500 and 1800 and Jews moving to Palestine between 1880 and 2006, are situations concerning completely different time periods, continents, and peoples who fled under different circumstances. Despite these differences, there were similar justifications for land acquisition. To understand the similarities concerning land acquisition between the two situations, one must look to the rhetoric used to justify actions and then the techniques used to carry out those beliefs. Therefore, this paper will first, assess the rhetoric used to justify confiscation through colonial influences, opposing views of property and ownership, religious beliefs, and perception of superiority. Then, it will look at how the rhetoric was used to acquire land through military force, war, purchase, treaty, transfer, defense, and aggression. It is through these similarities that one may begin to see that there is a repeated pattern of events, and a recreation of history.

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.