According to Bush, "The founders of my country saw a new promised land and bestowed upon their towns names like Bethlehem and New Canaan. And in time, many Americans became passionate advocates for a Jewish state." American Indian lands, in other words, were viewed by the founders of the United States as a new Land of Canaan, a promised inheritance and everlasting possession.
Although there may be those orthodox Jews who would not concur with Bush's characterization of the Old Testament, his speech illustrates the kind of thinking that has played such a prominent role in the historic mistreatment of American Indians by the United States, and in the callous and often brutal mistreatment of Palestinian people by the state of Israel. The mental model of a chosen people and a promised land provides a convenient rationalization whereby one people feels entitled and justified, by divine right, to take over, possess, and profit from the lands of other peoples.