Christmas Trees Being Returned to Seattle Airport

The other day I linked to an article from the King 5 News that reported that the Christmas trees at the Seattle Airport were being removed after a Rabbi threatened to sue if he couldn’t put up a Menorah display. This is what the report said:

SEA-TAC Airport – All 15 Christmas trees inside the terminal at Sea-Tac have been removed in response to a complaint by a rabbi.

A local rabbi wanted to install an 8-foot menorah and have a public lighting ceremony. He threatened to sue if the menorah wasn’t put up, and gave a two-day deadline to remove the trees.

Sea-Tac public affairs manager Terri-Ann Betancourt said the trees that adorn the Sea-Tac upper and lower levels may not properly represent all cultures.

She said that since this is their busiest time of year and they don’t have time to add a fair representation of all cultures, her department decided to take down all of the decorations, review their policies, and decide if they need to make a change for next year.

Today we hear that the Seattle Airport is putting the trees back and that the Rabbi never wanted the trees come come down in the first place:

The removal of the trees sparked a public outcry over what some say was political correctness run amok and part of a trend to adopt a secular tone toward Christmas.

Harvey Grad, the rabbi’s attorney, said it was never Bogomilsky’s intention to have the trees removed and the rabbi was “saddened” by the port’s decision to remove all holiday decorations instead of including the Menorah for Hanukkah.

“We are not part of the war on Christmas,” said Grad. “All we asked for was inclusion and now we’re getting hate mail and angry messages.”

The Chabad of Greater Seattle asked the airport to put the trees back and will not pursue any legal action even if the airport does not include the menorah into this year’s holiday decorations.

In a statement, the Port of Seattle said it removed the trees to avoid litigation with a religious group, which wanted to install the menorah and hold a lighting ceremony.

“The airport is not a traditional public forum and it would not be appropriate for such a ceremony, so we made the decision to remove the trees to allow the airport staff to focus on the busy travel season,” the Port said on its Web site.

The media got this really wrong when it accused the rabbi of threatening to sue if the Menorah didn’t go up. Pamela at Atlas Shrugs video taped Bill O’Reilly’s interview with the rabbi where he clarified his intentions. She also wrote this at her site:

Got to give a tip of the ole hat to O’Reilly on this one. I too was pissed at the Seattle Rabbi that “ruined Christmas”! And I got a lot of mail from angry readers as well. But, we were wrong.

Thank the jihad media once again for stirring the pot and putting its leftarded slant (with a healthy dose of Jew hatred) on an otherwise innocuous story. The jihad media claimed the beleagured Rabbi was going to sue the Seattle airport to remove the trees if they didn’t display a menorah. Blackmail! Of course the Rabbi could not refute the lies because the story broke on Friday night into Saturday …… you know the deal. Shabbat.

Lies lies lies ……………we have to listen to the jihad loving media talk about the alleged “humiliation” of the 6 terror imams, but a Jew wants to display a menorah? Ass-ume the worst? Horrors……..

Very good point, Pamela. I didn’t offer any comments one way or the other on the original story, but I feel bad for even linking to such an inaccurate report.

Update: One of the liberal trolls in our comments section is arguing that I am the one who is inaccurate in this post, that the media did not get it wrong.

Let’s look at this one more time:

The original report said this:

A local rabbi wanted to install an 8-foot menorah and have a public lighting ceremony. He threatened to sue if the menorah wasn’t put up, and gave a two-day deadline to remove the trees.

That is completely not true. The rabbi did not want the trees removed at all. The report blamed the rabbi when in fact it was the airport’s decision to remove the trees. The rabbi simply wanted one menorah on display somewhere in the airport.

Update II: And please read Peter F.’s comment about the fact that a lawsuit was never threatened or filed.

Update III: I concede the fact that there was a threat of a lawsuit, but only regarding the display of a menorah, and only after the rabbi asked the airport for weeks to put up a display of a menorah. The rabbi even offered to give the airport a menorah for free. However, I am still correct that the original report, which said that the rabbi demanded that the Christmas trees be taken down, was wrong. The rabbi has been quoted a number of times in other articles and also said in his interview with Bill O’Reilly that he did not want the Christmas trees taken down and removed from that airport. And this is what this whole discussion is actually about. The rabbi received a lot of hate mail because of those inaccurate reports when the removal of the trees was not what he wanted to begin with, and that is what my beef was all about.

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