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Monday, October 16, 2017 

Israel Parks Authority is fudging geological dates so as not to offend Haredis who don't believe in it

The Israel Parks Authority has done something very dumb that they would do well to mend:
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority has been removing information on the age of the geological features at prime tourist spots so as not to risk losing ultra-Orthodox visitors who believe a literal biblical account that the world is less than 6,000 years old.

The practice came to light after Lior Tal, a visitor to the Soreq Stalactite Cave in the Judean hills, noticed that the age of the cave had been scrubbed off the signs there and there was no reference to the millions of years over which the unique formations formed. He asked the guide if this was deliberate and was told that it had been done in order not to offend the ultra-Orthodox visitors to the caves, he said.

Tal posted of his experience at the site on Facebook and received hundreds of comments, including by others who had found similar issues at other nature sites, including the famous Rosh Hanikra grottoes in northern Israel.

[...] The Parks Authority, a government organization that runs Israel’s 200 nature reserves and more than 70 national parks, acknowledged that ultra-Orthodox sensitivities were a factor in the content of its educational material.

“The Nature and Parks Authority offers its sites to the public in all its diversity, regardless of religion,” they said in a statement.

“The ultra-Orthodox visit the sites in large numbers and it is important to allow them to visit the national sites as part of their connection with society. The Parks’ Authority must also be sensitive to the needs of the ultra-Orthodox population,” it said.
Let me get this straight. They've been doubtlessly coming for decades, and now, all of a sudden, the park managers plunge into a "moral panic" and decide they MUST avoid offending over petty issues? They're an absolute disgrace, and the only way they'll be able to apologize is by restoring the correct data to the brochures and other material they removed it from. Their censorship is practically what led to a lot of other, far more terrible incidents, and if they don't want the public to think they support monsters, they'll restore all they threw out. Besides, what "connection" are the Haredis who shun scientific facts taking to society if they maintain such low visions?

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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