The early emphasis on agriculture stems to a large extent from early Zionist ideals. Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, envisaged a society in which Jews, long denied the opportunity to till the soil, redeemed themselves and the land of Palestine, generating a new breed: the Jewish farmer. A major function of Zionist institutions like the Jewish Agency was to acquire land for agricultural settlements. By the time the Jewish state was created in 1948, a modest percentage of its land area (approximately 9 percent) had passed to Jewish hands. Since then, the Zionist establishment has greatly expanded the scope of Jewish (state) ownership through appropriation of the land of exiled Palestinians, allocation of public land to Jewish agricultural use, confiscation, and legitimate land transfers.