The editor of Five Towns Jewish Times apologized for “terrible damaging message” of smiling columnist at Capitol Hill riot.
By World Israel News Staff
The editor of a suburban New York Jewish newspaper issued an apology this week after running a front page picture of one of the paper’s columnists smiling and celebrating outside the U.S. Capitol on the day it was overrun by supporters of President Donald Trump.
“Last week’s front page of the 5 Towns Jewish Times featured a photograph that communicated a terrible damaging message and for that I categorically and unequivocally apologize to our readers personally and to the community at large,” publisher and editor Larry Gordon wrote on the paper’s website.
The picture showed a smiling Times‘ columnist Dr. Gila Jedwab with her arms outstretched and hundreds of people already swarming the Capitol after others had torn down a security fence.
“The photo that so many found troubling and even disturbing was not intended to G-d forbid, glorify or even minimally condone that type of message,” Gordon wrote. “There is no place for violence in our society under any circumstances.”
“To the extent that you were offended I reiterate my apologies and will endeavor that we are more sensitive and careful and that a situation like this is never repeated,” Gordon told his readers.
The paper caters to the predominantly Orthodox Jewish community from the Far Rockaway section of Queens and extending into the Nassau County communities of Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Woodmere and Inwood.
The picture caused two Orthodox synagogues in the area, Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence and Young Israel of Woodmere, to ask Gordon to stop delivering the paper to their premises, the Long Island Herald reported.
“We strongly object to your posting of Gila Jedwab with her arms extended in a welcoming fashion during the despicable event in front of the nation’s capital together with all its negative ramifications,” Young Israel said in a letter to Gordon.
Jedwab posted a chronology of what she did during the protests on her Facebook page, saying she herself saw no violence.
“None of us had any idea that there was any real violence or that people were killed. Events were unfolding in real time as we stood there. We had poor reception on our phones, so we were clueless. All we saw were happy people. The air around us was friendly and calm,” Jedwab wrote, adding that only later did she see the pictures of the mayhem.
“None of us condones violence. It makes us all sick to our stomachs. But a rigged election and a country stolen by traitors also makes us sick,” she wrote, repeating pro-Trump slogans that have not been proven.
“The whole day had been the most beautiful display of patriotism we ever saw. When I saw footage later on of shootings and other violence I was horrified. All of us were,” Jedwab said. “When the paper came out with my smiling face on the cover and people jumped to all kinds of conclusions, all I wanted was the chance to tell my story.”