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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 12:36 GMT
Festive trees back at US airport
A Christmas tree at Seattle's airport
The Christmas trees have now been returned to Seattle's airport
Christmas trees are being returned at Seattle's international airport after a row over religious decorations.

A dozen holiday trees had been removed over the weekend after a local rabbi complained the decorations did not include a giant Jewish menorah.

The airport's authorities removed the trees, which prompted a public outcry and a flood of hate mail to the rabbi.

Elzar Bogomilsky, who had threatened to sue the airport, said he never wanted the trees removed.

"The rabbi never asked us to remove the trees, it was the port's decision based on what we knew at the time," said Pat Davis, who heads the Port of Seattle Commission, which runs the airport.

"There's been such an outcry from the public - from people of all faiths - who believe that the trees should be reinstalled," Ms Davis said.

All-inclusive plan

Rabbi Bogomilsky had written to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport officials to ask that a menorah - an eight-branched candelabrum used for the Jewish festival of Hanuka - be placed alongside the largest Christmas tree on display to reflect the region's cultural diversity.

He was "saddened" by the port's decision to remove all holiday decorations, his lawyer said.

"We are not part of the war on Christmas," Harvey Grad said.

"All we asked for was inclusion and now we're getting hate mail and angry messages."

A menorah will not be displayed this year, but the airport authorities say they will work on a festive plan for next year to reflect all sections of the community.


SEE ALSO
Arrest over opened Christmas gift
06 Dec 06 |  Americas
Firms 'ban festive decorations'
05 Dec 06 |  Business

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