We put that pushy Jew in his place. The Christmas trees are back up at Sea-Tac. Hallelujah!
Honestly, the defensive reaction from the Anti-Defamation League (we're sorry, we're sorry, we didn't mean for the Christmas trees to come down!); the initial mixed-up media reports ("a Jew threatens to sue the Port for displaying Christmas trees"); and most of all, the avalanche of anti-Jewish vitriol that piled up on KING 5's website ("let's stop exchanging gifts at Christmas and see if the Jewish-owned stores want GIFTING brought back!"), are all classic elements from the predictable, gross script of anti-Semitism. (And yes, yes, thank you Edward Said/Noam Chomsky, I know that "anti-Semitism" is an ill-fitting description for anti-Jewish sentiment because Palestinians are Semites, blah, blah, etc.)
Anyway, yes, predictable script: An even-keeled call from a Jew (over a month ago) for equal representation at the Port leads to an anti-Semitic outburst which forces Jews to back down and apologize.
Here's another example of the brotherly Christmas spirit that was posted on KING 5's website: "Why couldn't the rabbi leave well enough alone... He is just another example of why Jewish people, and others, especially the ACLU (which is supported predominately by Jewish people), are looked upon as the leading proponents of asking a nation [of] Judeo-Christian values, to remove those values. Christians must accept everyone else's values and symbols. You would think the world is coming to an end when minorities are asked to respect our values and symbols. The Sea-Tac management is spineless. They might prove me wrong by restoring the Christmas trees. I'm not holding my breath."
"Leave well enough alone"? You mean shut up and go away? Okay, never mind that this creep doesn't seem to realize that Judeo means Jewish, or that "everyone else's values and symbols" aren't prominently displayed in publicly funded institutions like the Port, or that in fact, the Port showed it did have a spine by putting the Jew back in his place, the real question is: Why didn't the Port respond weeks ago and avoid this whole thing? Port spokesperson Terri-Ann Betencourt tells me Port staff had internal discussions about the Rabbi's request for weeks, but they didn't come up with a plan.
And you bet the Port initially took the trees down. Otherwise, they would have lost the lawsuit. By picking one religion over another, the Port was in all likelihood, breaking the law? And shouldn't that be the point? Isn't that important? To anybody?
And please. Presumptuous editorials like the one in December 12's Seattle Times that said Christmas trees are simply "a symbol of winter, the holidays... for people of all faiths" totally miss—and unwittingly highlight—the whole point: A Christian holiday somehow defines winter for all of us? Um: (a) They're called CHRISTmas trees. (b) Whose holidays? Chanukah is a minor Jewish holiday and is only propped up as equivalent to Christmas as a condescending way to include Jews in a Christian celebration that dominates America.
The rabbi should have gone ahead and sued.