In each case, the incoming colonizing Europeans appropriated the indigenous people’s land – sometimes by simple violence, sometimes by quasi-legal fiat.
In each case, the indigenous people sometimes sullenly succumbed, sometimes fought back – though ineffectually, since their military strength was paltry compared with that of the invaders.
In each case, the indigenous people were forcibly concentrated into smaller and smaller enclaves. The invaders, meanwhile, moved into the more productive and/or habitable areas.
In each case, the Europeans made a point of maintaining the pretence that their indigenous victims remained sovereign entities (the American tribes) or a sovereign entity (the Palestinian “authority”). This served the dual purpose of giving the illusion that the depredations the one visited on the other were negotiated arrangements and of keeping the indigenous population from easily integrating into the colonizers’ political system.
In each case, firebrands among the indigenous people called for putting an end to the European occupation and driving away the colonizers – an ineffectual and hyperbolic posture which only helped to boost the hawkish element in among in their opponents.
In each case, quite a few of the European colonizers realized that the invasion and subjugation of the indigenous people was morally wrong, but never were able to gain enough political strength to effect a lasting change in government policy.
(There are, of course, differences. The most important is that the Palestinians have formal support from their neighbors and the international community as a whole, something the native Americans never had. After the early defeat of Arab armies at the hands of the Israelis, this support has remained diplomatic and economic only. Also, the Palestinians have a relatively well-equipped and belligerent ally in Hezbollah. It would be as if the Sioux had become such a strong and feared element in Ottawa that they would have been at liberty to make raids into the United States whenever they wished without worrying about the reaction of the Canadian military.)
The close resemblance of our “Indian question” to the Israel’s Palestinian question may point to a solution for the latter vexing problem. Why not give the Palestinians the unique concession to open casinos? Currently, except in the city of Eilat, there are no casinos in Israel. This special privilege granted to the Palestinians might divert them, as it has diverted native Americans. Instead of dwelling on their grievances they are scrambling for the easy millions to be made from gambling.
The primary danger to be guarded against in such a plan would be the efforts of the Russian gangsters who pretended to be Jewish in order to emigrate to Israel to now try to pose as Palestinians so they could muscle in on these new, lucrative gaming operations.