Israel's ultra-orthodox media blurs women politicians in govt picture

Two ultra-orthodox news outlets concealed the faces and bodies of female ministers in pictures of Israel's new cabinet Thursday, renewing public debate over the practice.
Updated on May 22, 2015 11:33 AM IST
Copy Link
AFP | By, Jerusalem Jerusalem Jerusalem Jerusalem

Two ultra-orthodox news outlets concealed the faces and bodies of female ministers in pictures of Israel's new cabinet Thursday, renewing public debate over the practice.

Members of the newly sworn-in 34th government posed for the traditional group photo at the presidential compound in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
The picture shows three women at the centre -- Miri Regev (sports and culture), Ayelet Shaked (justice), and Gila Gamliel (minister for senior citizens) -- surrounded by 21 men.

Ultra-orthodox website Behadrey Haredim, which calls itself the "world's largest Haredim (ultra-Orthodox) portal", published the picture but blurred the women's faces.

"It's sad that technologically Behadrey Haredim has reached the 21st century, but as far as excluding women (from the public domain), it's still in the Middle Ages," said Rabbi Uri Regev, whose Hiddush movement advocates "religious liberty and the liberal movements of Judaism".
The ultra-Orthodox print press sidestepped the issue on Wednesday by not publishing the picture.

On Thursday, however, the weekly Yom Leyom newspaper, closely identified with the ultra-orthodox Shas that is part of the new coalition, published it, completely deleting the women, apart from Gamliel's feet which survived the cut.

"Shas's newspaper presents -- the transparent ones," head of the leftwing opposition Meretz party Zehava Galon wrote on Facebook, alluding to Shas declaration during campaigning that it would be a voice for the oppressed and "transparent" strata of the Israeli society.

Behadrey Haredim editor Avi Grintsaig said the practice of deleting women from pictures was not derived from Jewish law, "and certainly doesn't reflect our opinion on the women at hand".

Ultra-orthodox publications tend to avoid publishing pictures that include women on what they call grounds of modesty, but at times resort to creative solutions when the picture's value is high.

Behadrey Haredim's competition, Kikar Hashabat, hid US reality TV star Kim Kardashian in a handout photo of her meeting with Jerusalem's mayor last month.

In January, Haredi newspaper Hamevaser "vanished" German Chancellor Angela Merkel from a picture of world leaders marching in Paris against terrorism.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • 3M, Honeywell and a few others make N95 and N99 face masks (File)

    Canadian city of Toronto apologises to Sikh security guards over N95 mask row

    The Canadian city of Toronto has apologised to the World Sikh Organization of Canada for any delay' in reinstating Sikh security guards hired by contracted service providers who may have been terminated over a 'no-beard' policy that forced them to choose between their jobs and their faith. A report by the Toronto Sun said over 100 guards had been fired over a rule that requires them to be clean-shaven so they can wear N95 masks.

  • Britain prime minister Boris Johnson (File/Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP)

    Explained: Who could be new UK PM, what is the method and how long will it take?

    The prime minister secured a narrow win last month's confidence vote - that gavBoris Johnson'sim 12 months' immunity from another. Lawmakers from the ruling Conservative Party are already working to shorten that period. Boris Johnson's time as UK prime minister, it appears, is nearing its end. What next for Boris Johnson? The simplest would be for the prime minister to decide he has lost the support of his party and resign of his own volition.

  • Newly-appointed British chancellor of the exchequer Nadhim Zahawi.

    Nadhim Zahawi: Rishi Sunak's successor whose family fled Saddam Hussein's regime

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday appointed Nadhim Zahawi as the new chancellor of the exchequer, replacing Rishi Sunak who had earlier resigned from the cabinet in protest against Johnson's leadership. Zahawi's appointment also comes at a time when the British government is trying to tackle the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation. As a trained chemical engineer, Zahawi went on to work in the oil industry. He backed Brexit in 2016.

  • FILE PHOTO: A general view of village houses at Hong Kong border facing the skyscrapers in Shenzhen, in Hong Kong, China.

    Why property developers in China accepting house payments in watermelons, wheat

    Real estate firms in China have now started accepting payments for homes in watermelon, wheat, garlic and several other agricultural produce, Chinese daily The Global Times reported. Realtors in tier-3 and 4 cities are encouraging home buyers to pay part of the house payment with wheat and garlic. Experts say that China's economy, battered by multiple Covid-19 curbs, has shown slow post-lockdown recovery.

  • A man clears debris from a driveway near a bus inundated by floodwaters on a residential street, following heavy rains and severe flooding in the McGraths Hill suburb of Sydney, on July 6, 2022. 

    Homes of 85,000 people at risk, but rain eases around Sydney

    Floodwaters had inundated or were threatening the homes of 85,000 people around Sydney on Wednesday as rivers started to recede and the heavy rains tracked north of Australia's largest city. Emergency responders knocked on doors overnight in the towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Valley north of Sydney, to order residents to evacuate, Emergency Services Minister Steph Cooke said. “For many, it has been a sleepless night,” Cooke said.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, July 06, 2022