Letters to the editor, April 7

Pensioner protest Sir, - Does anyone truly believe that "the young, trendy set" in Tel Aviv and elsewhere actually believed "the buzz" created around the Pensioner's Party and therefore voted for it, as Anshel Pfeffer opined in "Behind the Lines" (March 31)? We wish the Pensioners well and support their cause, but to think that the social consciousness of these young trendies was suddenly awakened and that concerns such as security were overshadowed is more than na ve. Much more likely that theirs was a protest vote against the uninspiring, oft-times corrupt, vision-less and promise-you-anything politicians of the other parties. Seems to me a vote for the Pensioners simply felt like a more conscionable and democratic move than placing a blank slip in the ballot box; or worse, not voting at all. N. COHEN Jerusalem Sir, - I can't keep silent any longer! I have to tell you how much pleasure I got from reading Anshel Pfeffer's Electionscape, notably his "The Right must stop denying reality" (April 2). He writes a sound, fresh analysis, without propaganda. A delight! MOSHE MORDECHAI Jerusalem Thought-stopping Sir, - Sometimes a sentence is capable of bringing you to a full stop - without the dot. Such a line appeared in your front-page "Final tally lifts Olmert to center-left majority" (March 31), in which you reported that the election result "gave Olmert's plan to withdraw unilaterally from most of the West Bank a majority of 61, even without the nine votes of the Arab parties." What a thought-stopping line. We no longer need the Arabs to remove our people from our homeland. We're now older and wiser, and big enough to do it all by ourselves. ZALMI UNSDORFER London Sun Tzu's war... Sir, - Daniel Pipes quotes the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu "that in war the great object is victory" ("If only America would let Israel win," April 5). But Sun Tzu also states (in The Art of War, page 17) that all warfare is "based on deception," which means that predicting defeat can sometimes be a better strategy. On the same page he adds that when we are able to attack we must seem unable to do so, and when we are near, "we must make the enemy believe we are far away." At the end of the book he says "Be subtle." Also, do not make the enemy desperate. NIEL HIRSCHSON Tel Aviv ...and Israel's Sir, - After reading Daniel Pipes's op-ed I realized that he has little concept of the nature of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Palestinians have no army to defeat. Their resistance is based on small pockets of terrorists who strike, and then blend into the general population. The conclusion that "Israel should be urged to convince the Palestinians that they have lost" is an example of the "pie in the sky" thinking that has prolonged this conflict. Israel needs a strong army to defend itself while it finds a political, rational solution to the conflict. P. YONAH Shoham