Girls’ faces blurred in toy store ad in Beit Shemsh


JERUSALEM — The faces of young girls modeling Purim costumes in a toy store ad have been blurred in haredi Orthodox newspapers in Beit Shemesh.

In response, consumers have been urged to boycott the toy store chain, Ynet reported.

The chain, Red Pirate, said the ads were altered without its knowledge. The faces of boys in costume were not altered.

The chain issued a statement saying that the newspaper’s kashrut supervisor decided to blur the ad. The statement also apologized to anyone who was offended by the ad, Ynet reported.

The Hadash BeBeit Shemeh newspaper, which censored the ads, responded with a statement which said: “This is not a case of women’s exclusion or girls’ exclusion. The ads were blurred by the advertising company, at our request, out of respect to our readers – both men and women – who want to receive a paper which matches their worldview and lifestyle. The attempts made by people who are not part of the haredi public to meddle in the desires of a different public are pathetic and doomed to fail, as haredi readers will not bring an unclean newspaper into their home.”

Beit Shemesh has been the site of intense conflict over gender separation and female modesty issues.