TORONTO – A small Ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper in Israel Photoshopped an image taken at the Paris unity march, removing German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other female leaders from the photo.
On Sunday, world leaders joined hundreds of thousands of people who were rallying in solidarity for France after the deadly Charlie Hebdo attacks.
News footage and photographs showed the world leaders linked arm-and-arm during the march. Front and centre was the German chancellor, anchored by French President Francois Hollande and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
However, on the front page of HaMevaser (The Announcer), Merkel was digitally omitted from the image.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt were also removed from the image.
Israeli media joked it was meant to bring Abbas closer to Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, who was standing nearby.
The attendance of world leaders at the rally caused some controversy. U.S. President Barack Obama was heavily critized for not attending the march.
On social media, many joked about adding Obama to images, while others had their own take on the digital wizardry.
Within the insular ultra-Orthodox community, pictures of women are rarely shown in newspapers and magazines due to modesty concerns.
Binyamin Lipkin, editor of HaMevaser, said the newspaper is a family publication that must be suitable for all audiences, including young children.
“The 8-year-old can’t see what I don’t want him to see,” he told Israel’s Channel 10 television station. “True, a picture of Angela Merkel should not ruin the child, but if I draw a line, I have to put it there from the bottom all the way to the top.”
Lipkin said he did not want to tarnish the memories of people killed in the attacks.
“Including a picture of a woman into something so sacred, as far as we are concerned, it can desecrate the memory of the martyrs and not the other way around,” he said.
-with a files from The Associated Press