Outcry after teens hear ‘flat earth’ presentation at Israeli school
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Outcry after teens hear ‘flat earth’ presentation at Israeli school

Presentation at high school in center of the country described as ‘charlatanism’; Education Ministry says talk contravenes principles of science that should be taught

The Earth, as the Apollo 11 mission traveled towards the moon, July 17, 1969. (NASA via AP/File)
The Earth, as the Apollo 11 mission traveled towards the moon, July 17, 1969. (NASA via AP/File)

A well-rounded education? A group of teens in central Israel was surprised to hear last month in a presentation at a religious school that the earth is flat.

The ninth graders at the Amit Bar Ilan technological high school were given a presentation by Matan Gorodish, a graduate of the school and proponent of the theory that the earth is not a sphere, the Ynet news site reported.

Gorodish told Ynet that this was not the first occasion he had spoken in an educational institution, and that he had lectured students in the West Bank settlement of Elkana, where he lives.

“The teachers asked us, the graduates of the school, to enrich the program, so I offered the content and was invited to the school. The responses were amazing. Half an hour after the lecture, the children asked more and more questions. They were ecstatic,” he told Ynet.

Dr. Liat Ben David of the educational arm of the Weizmann Institution described the presentation as “charlatanism.”

“When there is a vacuum, charlatanism and ignorance spread,” she said.

The school said in response to the report that the lecture was not compulsory and that students argued with the presentation.

The Education Ministry emphasized that it was “an external lecture ordered by the school” and that it contradicted the “scientific concept led by the office.”

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