Flat Earth
Flat EarthIstock

A high school in central Israel backed by an American Jewish organization is under fire after an advocate of the “flat Earth” theory was invited to address students.

According to a report by Yediot Ahronot, Matan Gorodish, a proponent of the idea that the Earth is not a sphere but is actually flat, was recently invited to speak in front of ninth graders at the Bar Ilan high school in Ramat Gan.

The school is part of the AMIT (Americans for Israel and Torah) chain of national-religious schools which, according to AMIT’s website, offers “Jewish values-based education” to over 37,000 children.

During his lecture, Gorodish, who studied at the Amit Bar Ilan school, derided modern science as being “nothing more than guess work, lies, and gullibility meant to advance a certain agenda.”

Israel’s Education Ministry repudiated Gorodish’s lecture, saying it “contradicts the scientific views of the Ministry.”

Dr. Liat Ben David, the director of the Weizmann Institute of Science’s Davidson Institute of Science Education slammed the decision to invite Gorodish, calling his lecture “absolute drivel”.

"It's horrifying to think that instead of using actual accurate scientific tools and studies that are available to all, students are being offered such absolute drivel."

Following a public outcry over the lecture, AMIT vowed to more carefully vet future requests to invite outside speakers to address AMIT schools.

"Going forward, we will create a team to approve any future lecturers,” AMIT said in a statement responding to criticism of the decision to invite Gorodish.

Gorodish said that this was not his first lecture in front of students, noting that he had addressed students in the past, including in his hometown of Elkana, in western Samaria.

The school’s teachers had asked alums to plan an enrichment program for current students, said Gorodish.

"I proposed to give a lecture about flat Earth and was invited to speak in front of the students, it was a surprise to me too."