History of the Tel Aviv Airport (Gurion)

Author: Ira Riklis  |  Category: Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv Airport is the primary gateway into and out of the Middle East. Around 14 million passengers walk through its extensive security every year. On its runways, Tel Aviv Airport oversees hundreds of international flights a week. It’s also the home base of El Al, Israir Airlines, and Arkia Israel Airlines. The major transportation hub has seen many ups and downs to reach its current status and high satisfaction ranking among travelers.

The Origins

The Tel Aviv airport first opened in 1936 as Wilhelma Airport as part of the British Mandate for Palestine. The original airport was just four long strips of concrete from which an airplane could land or take off. Located on the outskirts of the Lydda, the small airport was used for military purposes and was the military hub for transport and aircraft ferry operations between military bases in Europe, Africa and throughout the the Middle East. It’s military use peak during World War Two. That changed in 1946 when the airport saw the first civilian international flight take off to New York City.


Up until 1948, the British had control of the airport. On July 10th, the Israelis defense forces officially took control of the Tel Aviv Airport and has maintained control of the airport since. Shorty after, the number of passengers rose to 100,000 a month. In the early 1970s, the airport had two instances with hijackers that resulted in loss of life. Today, the security is heightened with every vehicle to pass through its gates greeted by armed guards. Plainclothes solders walk the airport for increased security and all bags go through a CT or X ray machine.

Ultimate Expansion

The original airport design of four intersecting runways caused some safety concerns as the airport grew. It’s since been redesigned and features three runways. Additional terminals were also built and there are plans for future expansions.

Tel Aviv Airport has played and will continue to play a large, critical role in access to the Middle East. According to Airports Council International, the airport is ranked first among the 40 major European airports and is 8th out of 77th major airplane hubs in the world.

The History of Yedioth Ahronoth-Daily Newspaper

Author: Ira Riklis  |  Category: Tel Aviv

Daily Newspaper written extra extraThe Yedioth Ahronoth is a daily newspaper that is published in Tel Aviv, Israel. The paper was founded in the British Mandate of Palestine in the 1930’s, and is the largest newspaper in Israel by circulation and sales.

The Founding of Yedioth Ahronoth

“Yedioth Ahronoth” was founded by an investor named Nachum Kumarov in the 1930’s. The first evening paper in Mandatory Palestine, its format resembled that of the “London Evening Standard.” The paper was eventually sold to Yehuda Mozes, a wealthy land dealer who was interested in the paper as a long term investment opportunity. Mozes’ sons, Reuben and Noah, took over the running of the newspaper, with Noah as its first managing editor.

Yedioth Ahronoth and Yedioth Maariv

In the 1940’s, much of the staff became increasingly uneasy with their working conditions. The publisher, Yehuda Mozes, was quick to intervene in editorial matters, demanding revisions and deletions based on his personal biases and interests. In 1948, the newspaper’s editor, Ezriel Carlebach, led a large group of the paper’s disgruntled staff and journalists to form a rival paper. The “Yedioth Maariv” became the newspaper’s biggest competitor, and for decades, the two papers were in an on-going battle for sales and prestige. The rivalry peaked in the 1990’s when it was discovered that both papers had tapped one another’s phone lines.

Yedioth Ahronoth Today

Today, Arnon Mozes, Noah Mozes’ son, heads the paper, and Shilo De-Beer is the paper’s current editor. The paper has taken on a tabloid format, with the tone and purpose having transitioned from a sophisticated analysis of current events and more to human interests. It is owned by the Yedioth Ahronoth Group, which also owns stock in several of Israel’s companies, a collection of various local weekly newspapers, several magazine publications and various other non-media companies. The newspaper continues to enjoy its position of prestige, retaining the distinction of being Israel’s most widely read newspaper.