What do religions contribute to the issue of establishing ownership of land, such as the fact that Jews….?

…..lived in Palestine and called it their home for many centuries until war and displacement removed most of them in the Diaspora for millennia until they returned en masse after WWII?

In other words, does religion rule that "squatter’s rights" (that is, occupation of a land after the owners are kidnapped and carried off) trumps "we owned it first"? Of course, both groups might lose out in yet another argument of "cosmic justice" if the descendants of ancient Canaanites claim that all descendants of Abraham have wronged them by occupying land which was originally theirs.

So how do various religious traditions weigh those conflicting arguments for who has the ultimate right of ownership to a land that has been owned by various groups over the course of history?

2 Responses to “What do religions contribute to the issue of establishing ownership of land, such as the fact that Jews….?”

  1. Bruce Says:

    Interesting question. To begin with, God clearly endorses the concept of ownership because he issued the commandment, "Do not steal," which presumes ownership. Thus, God established a right to property.

    However, ownership is individual rather than collective. The question at issue with Israel is whether the Israelis have a legal right to national authority over their ancient homeland. They do have this right, first by UN mandate (1948) and second, by right of victory in just war. When a nation is attacked and defeats its attackers, it wins authority over lands taken from its enemies.


  2. Spirit Progeny Says:

    Your argument is interesting, but it doesn’t hold water.

    The fact that the Jews were restored to their ancestral homeland following WWII, was because it was their "ancestral homeland," from which they had been unjustly removed, not because their religion required it.

    LIkewise, the current Palestinians base their claim to the land because it had become *their* "ancestral homeland" from which they had been unjuustly removed, not because the Islamic religion has any legal position on land "ownership."

    Religious considerations or claims are not the basis, nor substance of either argument. Historical considerations and claims *are.*