Di Tzitung's doctored photo of the White House situation room (Shmarya Rosenberg / Failed Messiah)It’s not just Muslims who think poorly of women and believe they should be neither heard nor seen. Some Jewish sects have a problem looking at women, too. CNN’s belief blog reports on an example of this phenomenon, as noticed by a blogger (WebCite cached article):

Faith has outweighed fact at Di Tzeitung, a Hasidic newspaper based in Brooklyn, New York.

The ultra-Orthodox Jewish publication ran a doctored copy of the iconic “Situation Room Photo” last Friday — you know, the one taken of President Barack Obama and his national security team during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

Scrubbed from the picture: the two women in the room.

It’s as if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with her hand clasped over her mouth, and Audrey Tomason, director of counterterrorism, weren’t there and weren’t part of history.

The blogger in question is Shmarya Rosenberg of Failed Messiah; here’s his article on the matter (cached). Di Tzeitung issued a classic non-apology apology, conceding they shouldn’t have done what they did with that particular photo, but defiantly trumpeting how upstanding and righteous they are:

But in a written statement issued Monday afternoon by Di Tzeitung, the newspaper said that its decision to leave women out of photos is religiously mandated and that the right to do so is protected by the U.S. Constitution. …

“Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging women, which is certainly never our intention,” it continued. “We apologize if this was seen as offensive.”

While they may not “intend” to disparage women, they are doing so, by saying that all photos of women are immodest, while photos of men are not. Sorry, but this cannot logically be seen as anything other than disparaging of women, merely because they are women.

Note to Hasidic Jews, and Wahhabist Muslims, and any other fierce religionists who hate the idea that women exist: Grow up and get over it! There are women in the world — even if you prefer never to hear from or even see them — and they’re just as real — and as human — as you are. You don’t have to like this reality, but you do have to accept it. The Constitution may grant you the legal permission to pull this kind of shit under the aegis of “religious freedom,” but that doesn’t make these stunts anything other than juvenile. Having the ability to do something does not automatically make that action mature or rational.

I wonder how Di Tzeitung, or any other paper run by ultra-orthodox Jews, dealt with the administration of Golda Meir, while she was prime minister of Israel? I can only assume they refused to allow her to be pictured.

Photo credit: Failed Messiah.

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