The Netziv asks: all the shevatim were buried in Eretz Yisrael – this was not a unique request on Yosef’s part. How do we see that Yosef had a special love for Eretz Yisrael more than anyone else? The Netziv therefore points to a different source. When Yosef was giving his history to the Sar haMashkim, he openly admitted that he had been taken from Eretz Yisrael (Braishis 40:15 – “eretz ha’Ivrim”) and was not a native Egyptian, even though this admission would not certainly not help him.
Proof to the Netziv’s position can be seen from the following Midrash: Moshe challenged G-d why he was denied entry into Eretz Yisrael while the bones of Yosef that he removed from Egypt and carried through the desert got to go there. Hashem responded that Yosef identified himself as a “na’ar Ivri” in Pharoah’s court; Moshe, however, was identified by the daughters of Yisro as an “ish Mitzri.”
R’ Chaim Drukman quotes an amazing vort from the Ostrovza. Yosef had been born and raised in Eretz Yisrael. Moshe Rabeinu, however, was born in Egypt, raised in Egypt, and never stepped foot in Eretz Yisrael. Why should he have been expected to identify or be identified as anything other than an “ish Mitzi?”
The Ostrovtza answers that we see from here that no matter where a Jew is born, no matter where a Jew is raised, his true home is Eretz Yisrael, his identity is tied to Eretz Yisrael.