Israel needs a morally acceptable way to annex the Palestinian border territories. During previous Jewish occupations of Arab lands, Israeli casualties resulted mainly from Israel Defense Forces policing areas crowded with hostile Arab civilians, Israeli actions that raised most of the international concern. Instead, Israel should create a mile wide buffer zone along the Jewish state's borders. When there is terrorist action on the Palestinian side of the buffer, Israel Defense Forces will clear the area of Muslim infiltrators, extend the buffer, and aim eventually at a thirty-mile wide belt around Israel. Regardless of its dubious war efficiency for Israel, foreign public opinion would understand an Israeli security belt, a diplomatic, not a strategic device. Israel Defense Forces will drive the Arab inhabitants away and leave their cities desolate. Israel will permit no settlement and prohibit traffic to create a broad no-pass no-manís-land, and Israel Defense Forces will cover it with land mines. Scorched earth can be controlled by Israeli Air Force without casualties. Without Jewish settlements or Israeli military installations, the land would be much easier for Israel to support diplomatically, since it would have a defensive role, a response to Islamic terrorist actions. That is a long-term policy. Subsequent Israeli governments would need the patience to avoid annexing the land. Only after dozens of years could Israel matter-of-factly annex the Palestinian land when no other effective claim would exist.
An active war policy is an effective peacemaking device. Faced with the threat of Israeli expansion, the Arabs would seek peace with Israel, as they did after the Arab-Israel war of 1967 but stopped after Israel retreated from Sinai. Peace would call for Arab compromise, not demand the 1949 Arab-Israeli armistice borders. After the 1973 Israeli-Egyptian war, Israel retreated under American pressure from her forward positions in the Sinai; Israel eventually gave the peninsula up under the Camp David agreement. The Israeli concession included the viable isthmus area, along with Israeli military infrastructure and the only oil wells in Israel. If Israel had instead expanded west from the Suez Canal, Egypt would have been forced to sign a different peace treaty, leaving the isthmus with Israel to get the rest of the peninsula back and stop further Israeli encroachment. The U.S. might not have pressured Israel into withdrawing from the Egyptian side of the channel, had it been clear that Israel intended to acquire more land as bargaining chips and to increase the tension to bring the enemy to the negotiating table. If Egypt or any other Arab country were in a situation where delaying the peace settlement wit Israel was dangerous and expensive, it would compromise instead of insisting that victorious Israel withdraw. For example, Egypt agreed to settle its war with Sudan instead of clinging to her initial demands. But during negotiations, Israel lost sight of the objective. Instead of the gaining an important oil-producing territory in Sinai, Israel went in search of a treaty, as easily violated as signed and producing no trade benefits.