BK Jewish newspaper apologizes for altering White House photo

(AP) - An Orthodox Jewish newspaper on Mondayapologized for digitally deleting Secretary of State Hillary RodhamClinton from a photo of President Barack Obama and his staffmonitoring the raid by Navy SEALs that killed Osama bin Laden.

The Brooklyn weekly Di Tzeitung, which says it doesn't publishimages of women, printed the doctored photo Friday. It issued astatement saying its photo editor hadn't read the "fine print"accompanying the White House photo that forbade any changes. Thenewspaper said it has sent its "regrets and apologies" to theWhite House and the Department of State.

A second woman, Counterterrorism Director Audrey Tomason, alsowas deleted from the photo, which captured a historic moment in thedecade-long U.S. effort to apprehend the mastermind of the Sept.11, 2001, terror attacks.

Di Tzeitung said it has a "long standing editorial policy" ofnot publishing women's images. It explained that its readers"believe that women should be appreciated for who they are andwhat they do, not for what they look like, and the Jewish laws ofmodesty are an expression of respect for women, not the opposite."

The weekly said Clinton, a Democrat who represented New Yorkstate as a U.S. senator, had won overwhelming majorities in theOrthodox Jewish communities because they "appreciated her uniquecapabilities, talents and compassion for all."

Di Tzeitung, published in Yiddish, is sold at city newsstands,especially in Brooklyn's Williamsburg and Borough Parkneighborhoods, which have many Orthodox Jewish residents. Itacknowledged it "should not have published the altered picture."

An editor at a Manhattan weekly that has covered Jewish issuessince the 1890s addressed why the Brooklyn newspaper might havealtered the image. The Forward's managing editor, Lil Swanson, saidthat removing women from photos is "in keeping with" the beliefof some ultra-Orthodox Jews that showing images of the female formis "immodest."

In the original photo of the White House Situation Room, Obamaand his national security team are gathered around a table,following in real time the operation that culminated in the killingof bin Laden at his Pakistani compound on May 1.

The White House, which issued the photo, had no comment Mondayon the removal of the women from it.

VIDEO: White House press briefing on bin Laden missionPhotos of President Obama in Situation Room during bin Laden mission

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