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Haredi press unsullied by female ministers

Visages of three women in Netanyahu government pixelated out; one paper omits their first names, too

Illustrative: The 2015 Netanyahu government as photographed on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, with womens faces pixelated by the ultra-Orthodox Behadrey Haredim website. (Flash 90)
Illustrative: The 2015 Netanyahu government as photographed on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, with womens faces pixelated by the ultra-Orthodox Behadrey Haredim website. (Flash 90)

JTA — Another group of women in powerful positions, another Haredi Orthodox paper erasing them. Here we go again.

After each new Israeli government is sworn in, its ministers pose for a group photo with the president.

This year’s photo, taken Tuesday, features Israel’s three female ministers in the middle row — Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Senior Citizens, Minorities and Gender Equality Minister Gila Gamliel.

Regev, Shaked and Gamliel are all smiling. But if you saw the photo on Haredi news site Behadrey Haredim, you wouldn’t know that. Their faces are all blurred out, though Regev’s legs — knees and all — are scandalously visible.

The government of Israel at the President's Residence on May 19, 2015. (photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)
The government of Israel at the President’s Residence on May 19, 2015, including its three women ministers (from left) Miri Regev, Ayelet Shaked and Gila Gamliel (photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)

A similar obfuscating maneuver allegedly happened at HaModia, a Haredi print newspaper. According to a photo posted on a religious feminist Facebook page, HaModia’s list of the new government’s ministers omitted the women ministers’ first names. So while it listed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, for example, it noted only Justice Minister Ms. Shaked.

This time, the women weren’t fully erased, as has happened with previous photos of women politicians. A Brooklyn Haredi paper, Di Tzeitung, erased then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the famous 2011 photo of government officials monitoring Osama Bin Laden’s killing. And Israeli Haredi paper Hamevaser airbrushed German Chancellor Angela Merkel out of the photo of world leaders marching in Paris following the Charlie Hebdo attack this year.

Hamevaser, by the way, was founded by United Torah Judaism Knesset Member Meir Porush. Porush serves as this government’s deputy education minister — first name and all.

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