Originally posted as a Facebook note on May 11, 2011
Di Tzeitung, a Hasidic newspaper, published an article last week with a picture of the White House situation room.
They photoshopped Hilary Clinton out of it because of their policy not to publish any images of women.
The story went viral when it was published first on blogs, then in the Jerusalem Post, and then acoss all major and minor media outlets in the US and internationally. The two major complaints: 1. Violateion of White House copyright (aka religious Jews don’t give a d* about this country) 2. Sexism (aka religious Jews are just like the Taliban).
Di Tzeitung put out a statement Monday. A longer, less formal, response can be read here in the original Yiddish.
Synopsis: In response to 1. White House images are property of the nation and can be used and abused as desired (i.e. you will not be sued if you add horns and a mustache to any of those in the photo and publish it on your blog). 2. They are a religious newspaper and are free to follow the policies that adhere to their values.
An additional point they made was that they were not contacted by any of the myriad of blogs and internet sites that published the story before Monday. By that time the story had already been told and retold, accusations had been made, and conclusions had been reached. That says something about the state of today’s journalism.
As an orthodox Jewish woman this has forced me to ask a few questions: Do I agree with what Di Tzeitung did? Or do I believe that the cries of ‘sexist-mysogynist-taliban’ are an infringement of my religious freedom?
What it forces all of us to conclude is: not only have the ghetto walls been breached, they have turned to glass, at least from the outside in. What we do is no longer a private matter.