In a case of timing so bad that it would seem close to unbelievable (not that any time would be good for this), the Netanyahu government has announced its intent to convert 1,000 acres of land on the West Bank into 'state land' (here).
The linked Wash. Post story has generated a torrent of comments, which at a glance appear to be mostly negative, not surprisingly. One somewhat history-challenged commenter insists the 19th-cent. U.S. doctrine of 'manifest destiny' is to blame for the current situation in the Mideast. Why? Well, according to this commenter the Zionist movement at the turn of the twentieth century must have taken its cue from the U.S.'s westward expansion and the concomitant displacement, resettling, brutalization, killing etc. of Native Americans. I asked this person if there is any evidence that Herzl or the other early Zionists were even aware of the phrase 'manifest destiny' or anything in detail about the U.S.'s westward expansion. (I'd be surprised if there were such evidence, though I'm not sure.) Anyway, drawing a straight line from the Trail of Tears to the displacement of Palestinians in the 1948 war and subsequently strikes me as -- how shall I put it? -- tenuous. (As if Israeli soldiers in 1948, when asked for their heroes, would have answered: "why, Andrew Jackson, of course.")