Haredi Newspaper Edits Female Leaders Out of Charlie Hebdo March

Haredi Newspaper Edits Female Leaders Out of Charlie Hebdo March

Now you see them, now you don't.

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

Of the 44 world leaders who marched in Paris on Sunday to express solidarity with France, none of them were women — or, at least, that's what the haredi Israeli newspaper HaMevaser would have you believe.

The women seemingly removed are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and EU foreign affairs and security chief Frederica Mogherini. Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has been cropped, so that only her hand remains in shot, on the picture’s far left.

The omission was first highlighted by Israeli news site Walla.com.

The footprint of Photoshop is pretty obvious if you look closely at the altered image. The face of the man behind Chancellor Merkel is blurry and strangely discolored, and Mogherinis disembodied hand made the cut (literally) and is still in the shot.

The incident is reminiscent of when Brooklyn-based Hasidic newspaper Der Zeitung printed a Situation Room photo that was fixed to remove Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a second female White House staffer. National Security team member Audrey Tomason was also ousted from the image.

Der Zeitung later apologizes for the altered image, which they acknowledged might have been “offensive,” according to the New York Daily News.

Haredi newspapers claim to remove pictures of women in order to follow a stringent code of modesty.

However, author of the popular blog Failed Messiah said, "There is no Jewish law mandating the removal of normally clothed women from pictures like this."

Jewish Week writer Rabbi Jason Miller voiced similar criticism asking, "Is it really better to misrepresent the truth and deceive people than to see a photo of a modestly clothed Secretary of State?"

Miller speculated that the newspaper may have removed Clinton and Tomasen because its editors "don't like the idea of a woman with that much political power."

He also said he considers the altered image an "act of censorship [that] is actually a violation of the Jewish legal principle of g'neivat da'at (deceit)."


What happens if you Photoshop out all the men? Twitter user Julia Chapman decided to find out. The experiment produced this:


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