“As an ultra-Orthodox party that believes that our forefathers were Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that our holy matriarchs were Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, we refuse to teach our children that they originated from apes.”
Ha’aretz sent a questionnaire to the heads of every Israeli political party about a month ago.
The questions are benign:
• What is your position on teaching evolution in Israeli schools?
• What is your position on the state’s biometric database?
• What is your position on Israel’s contribution to global warming?
• Do you personally believe in God?
Leaders of most of the right-wing parties, including the Yisrael Beiteinu Party led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party, refused to answer any of the questions.
But the other parties’ leaders did answer, among them the Sefardi haredi Shas Party headed by Aryeh Deri; its breakaway, the harder right-wing Yachad Party headed by former Shas head Eli Yishai; and the United Arab List’s Ayman Odeh.
All three politicians said they believe in God. But they differed dramatically with regard to evolution, which has been settled science for decades.
Aryeh Deri, Chairman of the Shas Party: “As an ultra-Orthodox party that believes that our forefathers were Adam and Eve, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and that our holy matriarchs were Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, we refuse to teach our children that they originated from apes.”
Eli Yishai, Chariman of the Yachad Party: “It should not be taught.”
The head of the United Arab List, Ayman Odeh: “I support teaching the theory of evolution as the theoretical foundation accepted today by science for the development of the variety of species on Earth.”
Read the whole Q and A with all the parties that responded here.
Related: Evolution 101.