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Photo Op: World Leaders Don’t Really Lead “Unity Rally” in Paris

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On Sunday, a “unity rally” was held in Paris, France, in solidarity for the victims of the shooting that occurred at the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, on January 7. Around 3.7 million people came to Paris to show their support, including 40 world leaders.

The leaders included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Council President Donald Tusk, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

An iconic photo was taken of the world leaders in attendance, which appeared to show them leading the march. However, The Independent reported that when the camera is zoomed out to show the entire scene, it shows a “different perspective on the leader’s portion of the march,” which revealed that the front line of leaders was followed by “just over a dozen rows other dignitaries and officials,” along with a “significant gap” separating them from the “throngs of other marchers.”

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Borzou Daragahi, a Middle East and North Africa Correspondent for Financial Times, tweeted a photo of the leaders, saying that rather than leading the actual march, they seemed to be conducting a photo op:

Ian Bremmer, an American political scientist and the president and founder of Eurasia Group, tweeted a similar picture, pointing out that the large gap between the leaders and the general public made it look as if the leaders were not actually “at” the rallies:

In addition to the photos that appear to show the word leaders running the march, the Jewish Orthodox newspaper Hamevaser is under criticism for a photo it published on its front page of the leaders. The photo was airbrushed to edit out the women present: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

The Associated Press posted a photo of Hamevaser’s front page, claiming that the newspaper removed Merkel and Hidalgo from the photo “out of modesty.

Courtesy of the Associated Press
Photo Courtesy of the Associated Press

The Daily Mail tweeted a photo showing the difference between the original photo of the world leaders, and the airbrushed version that was published:

Orthodox Israeli newspaper airbrushes female world leaders out of Paris march photos http://t.co/TUEwhqriUmpic.twitter.com/Pq3sDpdqRJ

— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) January 13, 2015

Tablet Magazine, an “online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture,” responded by creating an edited version of their own, in which every leader had a photoshopped version of Merkel’s head:

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