Hasidic Newspaper Explains Why It Airbrushed Out Hillary Clinton

Illustration for article titled Hasidic Newspaper Explains Why It Airbrushed Out Hillary Clinton

Di Tzeitung, the Hasidic newspaper that Photoshopically removed Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason from the famous situation room photo, has explained its actions as follows:

Our photo editor realized the significance of this historic moment, and published the picture, but in his haste he did not read the "fine print" that accompanied the picture, forbidding any changes. We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department.

The allegations that religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel. The current Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, was a Senator representing New York State with great distinction 8 years. She won overwhelming majorities in the Orthodox Jewish communities in her initial campaign in '00, and when she was re-elected in '06, because the religious community appreciated her unique capabilities and compassion to all communities. The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender, race, etc. We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders, and there is no mention of gender in such prayers.

In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.


It's not only this paper that is consistent on this front; in Israel, ultra-Orthodox papers don't publish photos of Kadima party leader Tzipi Livi, nor use her first name. In one newspaper photo, the two out of 30 cabinet ministers that happened to be female were replaced with a black hole.

Hasidic Newspaper Defends Its Decision To Wipe Hillary Clinton Out Of Famous Photo [Atlantic Wire]
Earlier: Hillary Clinton Photoshopped Out Of Situation Room Photo



Ok, not that it excuses the paper, but this might help get into the heads of the people who do this: often, in very conservative religious groups with conservative gender roles, women are perceived as having a very special place and role to fill. Because of that role and their extreme specialness- usually because of their ability to bear life - women should be protected and treated with a very specific sort of respect. Thus, they shouldn't be seen so they aren't lusted after. They shouldn't work in public because that takes them away from their very special purpose.

Granted, this is all bullshit, and it's just another demonstration of the othering of women. It is totally sexist and limiting to women, and it generally leads to even worse perceptions of women as not special but unworthy, etc. It's just interesting, because I think it helps inform the ultra-orthodox opinion that what they are doing isn't sexist at all, but actually in some twisted way, respectful.