The Hamas and Hezbollah missile attacks demonstrate that depth of defense is not an outdated concept. Israel is pathetically small and lacks strategic depth. Now is a reasonable time to enlarge the country.

All countries respond to border conflicts with annexation; the US annexed a third of Mexico after cross-border incursions. Russia scorched an island with napalm to counter Chinese claims. Border skirmishes are so acceptable a reason for annexation that the Germans staged skirmishes to justify occupying Poland.

Israel must create a buffer zone in South Lebanon. North Lebanon could go to Syria with a Christian buffer state in between. Another non-Muslim state in the Middle East will draw much of the hatred now centered on Israel. Lebanon is an artificial state created by colonial powers. It alternates between religious wars and fragile governments and back, a permanent source of civil strife and unrest on Israel’s border.

Jordan is Jewish land by power standards, and was apportioned to Israel in the original Balfour declaration. Only later did the British cut Iraq out of Iran and Jordan out of Israel to placate friendly tribal chiefs. Syria has long had plans for Jordan, and Israel will gladly concede part of Jordan along with all the Palestinian population to Syria. France and Britain shaped Lebanon and Jordan; Israel can reshape them.

The world would not care a bit about the annexation so long as Israel does it quickly and cleanly, without major destabilization. America was okay with Arabs annihilating Israel in 1948 and 1967, and the US would not object to Israel annexing Jordan. The US rebuffed Sadat’s peace offers before 1973 when Israel was in charge of the military situation. America, the arbiter, needs minor instabilities but will not tolerate large conflicts.

The situation is ripe. A million plus Lebanese refugees depopulated the South, making it easier to relocate the other inhabitants to North Lebanon. Jordan is profoundly anti-American. Iraq lacks a decent government and has no choice but to accept the relocated Palestinians. Syria will forget the Golan in return for chunks of Lebanon and Jordan. Moreover, Syria will have to support Israeli acquisitions in those countries to preserve its own territorial acquisitions there. Other Arab countries will gladly be shut of Lebanon which otherwise succumbs to shiite influence. As Nike used to say, just do it.