Every discipline which deals with the land question in Canaan-Palestine- Israel is afflicted by the problem of specialisation. The political scientist and historian usually discuss the issue of land in Israel purely in terms of interethnic and international relations, biblical scholars concentrate on the historical and archaeological question with virtually no reference to ethics, and scholars of human rights usually evade the question of God. What follows is an attempt, through theology and political history, to understand the history of the Israel-Palestine land question in a way which respects the complexity of the question. From a scrutiny of the language used in the Bible to the development of political Zionism from the late 19th century it is possible to see the way in which a secular movement mobilised the figurative language of religion into a literal 'title deed' to the land of Palestine signed by God.
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