Newspaper scrubbed WHO from Paris unity rally photo?

Now you see them, now you don’t.

HaMevaser, an ultra-Orthodox newspaper in Israel, photoshopped a front-page photo of more than 40 world leaders who gathered in Paris on Saturday by removing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other female leaders, according to The New York Times.

The Times reported the practice is common with ultra-Orthodox publications, who seek to avoid pictures of women for reasons of modesty. The newspaper reported that women’s faces are sometimes scratched out on bus advertisements and are barred from running for public office in their parties.

“It’s very, very, very, very, very hard for a nonreligious person to understand the purity of eyes,” ultra-Orthodox filmmaker Rama Burshtein told The Times . “By us, men don’t look at women’s photos, period. As long as you don’t know that, then it sounds ridiculous, or changing history or events.”

“But we’re not here to get the events the way they are,” he continued. “We are here to keep the eyes.”

In addition to Merkel, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Switzerland President Simonetta Sommaruga were also cropped out.

Needless to say, the action has come under heavy scrutiny. Waterford Whispers, an Irish satirical site, posted its own “feminist newspaper photoshop,” taking the opposite approach of haMevaser — depicting the same Paris street scene with the men deleted.

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Tom Tillison

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