Friday, December 15, 2006

The truth about the Seattle Menorah fiasco

I'm sure that everybody has heard of the "Seattle Menorah" incident. According to the press, a rabbi went to the owners of Seattle's airport demanding that they put up a menorah, was rejected, and threatened a lawsuit. The airport responded by removing their Christmas trees. The rabbi then changed his mind and the trees went back.

Although I'm certain members of the press truly believe their version of the story, it is hardly what happened.

See this story in Chabad's online magazine for their side of the events. It is a very different story.

The local Chabad rabbi was trying to arrange a meeting with the airport's people to arrange to have a menorah set up. The owners, for whatever reason, were dead-set against the idea. But they wouldn't just say "get lost". Instead, they decided to resort to bureaucratic BS - refuse to return phone calls, cancel meetings, etc.

The rabbi's lawyer mentioned the possibility of legal action, probably as much over the obnoxious treatment they were receiving as over the menorah itself. At no time did anybody ask that the Christmas trees be removed. The airport, reacting to their own imagined threats, instead of reality, reacted by removing the trees and then telling the press that the Jews made them do it. (Spurring volumes of hate-mail sent to Jewish organizations nationwide.)

So, instead of a lawsuit-happy rabbi with an anti-Christmas agenda, we now have a picture of an pig-headed airport administration engaging in a campaign of character-assassination in "retaliation" for an offense that never took place.

But you probably won't read about this story in any news outlet, will you?

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