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Erasing Hillary: How a Chasidic newspaper garnered global headlines

The Internet is abuzz over a Brooklyn-based Chasidic newspaper’s erasure of Hillary Clinton and a second woman from the now-famous photo of top Obama administration officials monitoring the raid in which Osama bin Laden bit the dust. The act of effacement by the newspaper, Di Tzeitung, was first reported in the Jewish blogosphere and soon went viral. “Outrage after Hasidic paper removes Clinton from iconic photo,” screamed a headline on The San Francisco Chronicle’s blog.

Now the heretofore obscure paper is stuck having to explain its policies to the world, as it did in a statement published on The Washington Post’s website. (“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,” the paper stated.)

While it took the alteration of an iconic photo for the world to take notice, Di Tzeitung isn’t the only newspaper serving the Haredi community that won’t print photos of women, no matter how modestly dressed they may be.

Three years ago, JTA reported on the refusal of the newspaper Hamodia to publish photos of Hillary Clinton. (A representative of the newspaper explained that it had similarly never published a photo of Golda Meir.)

Hamodia’s policy prompted the following poetic query/quip from the Forward newspaper’s late bilingual bard Stanley Siegelman: “A ship’s referred to as a ‘she’: / Would showing ships breach modesty?”

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