THE New York-based Hasidic newspaper, Der Tzitung has had to apologise for removing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from a front page photograph.
Clinton, as well as Audrey Tomason, the Director for Counterterrorism and the only other woman in the picture, were “disappeared” in accordance with the paper’s “religious beliefs”. Its policy is:
Not to intentionally include any pictures of women in the paper because it could be considered sexually suggestive.
The picture below, taken by a White House photographer on May 1, shows the US President and his national security team seemingly transfixed as they watch the mission to kill al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.
In a statement issued this week, the paper said:
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.
It then complained:
The allegations that religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel.
And it added:
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the government leaders, and there is no mention of gender in such prayers â€¦In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status.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.
We are proud Americans of the Jewish faith, and there is no conflict in that, and we will with the help of the Almighty continue as law-abiding citizens, in this great country of ours, until the ultimate redemption.