Christmas spirit reappears at Sea-Tac

A dozen Christmas trees are today hastily being put back up at Seattle-Tacoma Airport after being taken down last week under threat of a federal lawsuit. Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky had threatened to sue the airport after complaining that the decorations did not include a Jewish menorah. He had written to ask the airport to add a menorah – an eight-branched candelabra used during the festival of Hannukah – to reflect the city’s cultural diversity.
But the airport panicked and decided, in the face of the threat of legal action, to take down all the Christmas decorations.
The authorities might have guessed the decision would have been less than popular with the travelling public, but could not have foreseen the public outcry that saw the airport’s website flooded with emails of protest and hate mail being sent to the Rabbi concerned.
After clarification the airport operator Port of Seattle president Pat Davis said: “The Rabbi never asked us to remove the trees. It was the Port’s decision based on what we knew at the time.”
The Rabbi insisted that he was “saddened” the trees had been removed.
“There has been such an outcry from people of all faiths we believe the trees should be reinstalled,” said Davis.
A menorah will not be added this year, but the airport says it plans to work with the Rabbi and members of other faiths next year on a display to reflect all sections of the community.

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