Monday, May 09, 2011

Der Tzeitung apologizes

Here's the apology as reported by an awful web site I refuse to recognize: 

The White House released a picture showing the President following “live” the events in the apprehension of Osama Bin Laden, last week Sunday. Also present in the Situation Room were various high-ranking government and military officials. Our photo editor realized the significance of this historic moment, and published the picture, but in his haste he did not read the “fine print” that accompanied the picture, forbidding any changes. We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department.The allegations that religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel. The current Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, was a Senator representing New York State with great distinction 8 years. She won overwhelming majorities in the Orthodox Jewish communities in her initial campaign in ‘00, and when she was re-elected in ‘06, because the religious community appreciated her unique capabilities and compassion to all communities. The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender, race, etc.

We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders, and there is no mention of gender in such prayers.

All Government employees are sworn into office, promising adherence to the Constitution, and our Constitution attests to our greatness as a nation that is a light beacon to the entire world. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. (See below.) That has precedence even to our cherished freedom of the press! In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.

We are proud Americans of the Jewish faith, and there is no conflict in that, and we will with the help of the Almighty continue as law-abiding citizens, in this great country of our’s, until the ultimate redemption.

All English is sic. Let's hope they're better at Yiddish. Syntax aside, this isn't a bad apology. Some of the points they make are stupid, and playing the religion card is no better than playing the race card, but that's fine, too. An apology - especially a public apology - is part propaganda The point here isn't to sooth hurt feelings, but to end the conversation. Suggesting freedom of religion is a blank check (it isn't) or that Orthodox Jews voted for Hillary because of her "compassion" is bogus, but no one is going to bother to argue. Most will be happy to get the apology and the admission of wrongdoing, which is all they are entitled to anyway. 

I also like the Orwellian touch of strenuously denying that the paper denigrates women, while also protecting their prerogative to continue denigrating them. Not publishing a photo of properly dressed woman is a way of turning all women into sex objects, a way of saying you, as a class, have no role and no purpose other than to satisfy us sexually and bear our children. Its a reprehensible policy, and has no basis in the Judaism of our forefathers. 

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