I can't recall the last time I said that anything would be simple. The Zionist project itself provides an example of making the improbable happen.
Anyway, I find this exchange helpful. I have not much more than a superficial historical understanding of these events. Approaching it in a broad strokes manner frequently seems not much of a disadvantage, but here it does.
I do find your Boer allusion interesting. It seems to me that the nation state/settler/colonial frame negates implicitly all "naturally rightful ownership based on indigeneity". Of course the colonial enterprise also requires a robust regime of exception making to develop. Then it becomes one of the sources of its decline.
Part of what I found useful in the Khalili piece was that the "necessity" of subjugation of the Palestinians for the Zionist project to succeed was identified in 1923 by Jabotinsky, amplifying your phrase "from the beginning". At this point, the assertion of an absence of " a practicable alternative" throws us into historical counterfactuals or asserting everybody did what they had to do's.
At this point we're entering I think a discussion of whether or human choice, free will and morality are possible, or if all that represents "folk psychology", eliminating everything but a neurological materialism.
You write: "In sum, and given the practical mutual exclusivity of ethno-national claims, Zionist political, legal, military, and economic strategy from the beginnings up to this week’s headlines can be interpreted as, among other things, necessarily a more or less systematic if inconsistently enunciated effort to pre-empt a Palestinian national project, to make it not just improbable, but clearly impossible except on radically diminished terms."
Expanding on your point is this.