Thursday, January 15, 2015

From the "Unbelievable But True" Dept. - Haredi Newspaper Erases Angela Merkel and Other Women From Paris March Photo


Every once in a while we come across an unbelievable but true news story that makes us say "You just can't make this stuff up." Over the last few days such a story has been making headlines worldwide.


A small Haredi newspaper in Israel called HaMevaser is getting lots of exposure that they probably weren't looking for when they published an edited version of the now iconic photo of 40 world leaders marching arm in arm at the Paris rally against terrorism on Sunday.

The front row of marchers included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. But you wouldn't know it from the HaMevaser photo because the images of all three women were erased.


Papers such as HaMevaser rarely include any women in their photos. The editor was quoted as saying "including a picture of a woman into something so sacred can desecrate the memory of the martyrs." But some members of the Haredi community, like Shmuel Pappenhym, an ultra-Orthodox commentator and educator, said that while the community must preserve its values, the newspaper had gone too far. 

"The Hamevaser newspaper does a thing like this, tomorrow it appears in Germany, it appears all over Europe, the rest of the world. It mocks the Jewish Orthodox community. It makes us look narrow minded. It makes us look obtuse," he said. 

Any obtuseness was compounded by the shoddy photo manipulation. A close look at the photo shows that part of a woman's blue scarf was left on a man's coat and one man's hand is actually a disembodied woman's gloved hand.

The photo gave an opening to an Irish satirical website, Waterford Whispers, to post a version of the photo below with all men cropped out. 



The whole story was told on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. The video clip below sums it all up. Enjoy, laugh, or cry. We're doing a little of each.

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)