Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Global and International Studies

First Advisor

Thomas Kostrzewa

Second Advisor

Wessam Abdelaziz


The Israeli-Palestinian War over Israeli-held territories has been a major controversy for many years. The modern conflict has been raging on since 1948. This conflict has caused the displacement of 1.4 million Palestinians, uprooting them from what they believe to be their ancestral home. Along with this displacement, the conflict has caused infrastructural collapse and the rise of terrorist organizations within Israel and Palestinian territories. Both groups have their own evidence in claiming the Israeli-held territory, including archaeological history and ancient texts to argue that they are the rightful owners of this land. The narratives of land claim belief are built on archaeological evidence, the information within Holy Books, and historical record. The stories of Israelis and Palestinians are retold to their younger generations through education; both informal and formal.

The main question this paper will discuss is: how do Israelis and Palestinians interpret their own histories as evidence that they have claim over Israeli held territory? An in-depth examination of both parties will be discussed. Two sub-questions will be talked about: what justification do the parties in question have in claiming the Holy Land and what do they teach their students in schools? The Holy Land holds a great deal of significance to both Palestinians and Israelis. When searching for evidence of which group was inhabiting the land first, ancient Holy texts are a valuable resource. Holy books contain information based on this subject, as well as claims tied to the Holy Land. Three holy books will be examined, the Bible, the Quran and the Torah. Archaeology and the control of how historical evidence is presented to the public will also be explored. Who is in control of these narratives and the history of the area? What kinds of research questions are archaeologists and historians interested in discovering through archaeology? By focusing on these questions, we can determine how Israel and Palestine are interpreting their own histories. The educational aspect is important within the Israeli territory because it is how history is interpreted and taught as factual. We will conduct a close examination of what each group teaches their students. Often schools have the power to influence the values that citizens maintain throughout their lives. Textbooks from different periods will be examined to see what these schools were teaching.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

thesis reflection.pdf (203 kB)
Thesis Reflection