HaMevaser cut women, including Germany's Angela Merkel, from front-page pic
Haaretz writer called the move "embarrassing" and others on social media slammed the decision
Ultra-Orthodox often eschew showing images of women for modesty's sake
It is practically an iconic photo by now – a row of world leaders standing in solidarity next to one another, marching in Paris, united against terrorism. Most of them were men, but some were women, including Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. She was right next to French President Francois Hollande.
But ultra-Orthodox Israeli newspaper HaMevaser published a digitally altered front-page image of the leaders with the women removed.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews traditionally don’t prefer to show images of women because it’s not considered modest. As Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted, political parties that represent the ultra-Orthodox sector ban women from running for office.
But some feel changing the photo of the Paris march went way too far. It was downright “embarrassing,” wrote Haaretz’s Allison Kaplan Sommer.
The message HaMevaser sent, Kaplan Sommer said, was tantamount to “denying the fact that in the wider world, beyond the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, women do stand on the world stage and shape events.”
In addition to Merkel missing from HaMevaser, other women leaders who disappeared from the photo are European Union security and foreign affairs chief Frederica Mogherini and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
Some took to Twitter to criticize the decision and to share the original and altered pictures.
A satirical Irish publication, Waterford Whispers, had a little fun with the story and published the photo from the Paris march showing only the three women and cutting out all the men.
It’s not the first time an ultra-Orthodox publication attempted to erase a female politician. In 2011, New York-based newspaper Di Tzeitung altered a picture to remove then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton out of a famous shot of White House leaders watching the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.