Contrary to what Gary Heffner wrote in his Feb. 16 letter, Al-Aqsa mosque is mentioned in the Koran (Chapter 17, verse 1). The statement that "Al-Aqsa was built to create the exact problem we have now," is ridiculous.
Mosques, as other places of worship, are built to worship God, not to create problems. Historically, at the time Al-Aqsa mosque was built, no Jews were living in Jerusalem. Under Roman Empire rule, Jews weren't allowed to enter or live in Jerusalem. It was only under subsequent Muslim rule that Jews were allowed to live in Jerusalem.
As for the peace process, when a state invades other people's land and occupies it, her offer to return some of this land - which is not rightfully hers - is hardly an appeasement.
The 95 percent of the land offered by (former prime minister) Ehud Barak is in reality only 18 percent of land under the British mandate that ended in 1947. The United Nations partition plan, on the basis of which Israel was created, gave the Palestinians 47 percent of the land.
Further, Mr. Barak's plan envisioned the Palestinian territory to be divided in three separate cantons with no contiguous borders that were purposefully designed so that Palestine can never be a viable state. Mr. Barak did not offer to cede sovereignty on the Haram al-Sharif to the Palestinians, but only administrative authority while rejecting completely the right of return for the Palestinian refugees. I would not blame the Palestinians for rejection this "generous" offer...
Hossam D. Fadel, Augusta