No church or mosque for Ben Gurion airport

Plans to build a church and mosque at Ben Gurion Airport have been stymied by Charedi pressure.

The new Terminal Three, which serves 95 per cent of the flights leaving Ben Gurion, was originally planned to include prayer areas for all three monotheistic religions but when the terminal began to operate five years ago it included only a synagogue. In addition there is a booth operated by the Lubavitch movement.

Eleven and a half million passengers flew through Ben Gurion last year and while it is unclear how many of them belong to each religion, the airport also serves Israel’s Muslim community and hundreds of thousands of Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land.

In the past, Christian and Muslim representatives asking the Israel Airport Authority about this matter were told that the new terminal would have prayer areas for them.

According to sources in the Transport Ministry, the Charedi parties which have representatives on the various boards of companies operating in Ben Gurion have managed to postpone the building of the church and mosque, even though there are spaces available in the terminal.

The Israel Airport Authority declined to comment.

    Last updated: 4:42pm, November 26 2009