UPDATE: Yiddish-language paper Der Zeitung has released statement apologizing for the altered White House photo in which Hillary Clinton was removed, CBS News reports.
Der Zeitung has now released a statement saying that “[w]e should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department,” the Orthodox Jewish newspaper Vos Iz Neias reports.
Der Zeitung addressed what it cast as “allegations” that the women had been removed from the photograph because “religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office,” calling such suggestions “malicious slander and libel.”
The newspaper offered kind words for Clinton and said it respects all government officials, but that religious considerations prevent it from showing images of women.
“In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status,” Der Zeitung said. “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.”
A Chasidic paper in Brooklyn removed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from the White House photo of U.S. officials watching the deadly raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout.
The Yiddish-language Der Zeitung manipulated the photo of political leaders watching the May 1 raid in Pakistan from the White House “situation room.”
The two women in the room—Clinton and Audrey Tomason, director for counterterrorism who works with the Security Council—were digitally removed.
The original photograph shows Clinton sitting at the table with the president, covering her mouth with her hand and wearing a shocked expression. Tomason is in the back, leaning forward, presumably for a better view.
The Yiddish daily, which serves a haredi Orthodox audience, does not publish pictures of women in accordance with its interpretation of Jewish modesty requirements.
In this case, several media outlets are suggesting Der Zeitung may face legal problems. The White House released the photograph with a disclaimer stating that it “may not be manipulated in any way.”