In 2010 he represented Israel with his touching ballad “Milim (Words)”.
And last week Israel’s Harel Skaat had a few more words for LGBT youth in Israel, telling them not to enlist in the Israeli Defence Force following a government petition to the Supreme Court that opposes moves to ease adoption by same-sex couples.
As the Jerusalem Post reports, current laws allow same sex couples to adopt children but heterosexual couples are prioritised. In fact, only three same sex couples have successfully adopted within Israel since 2008, as opposed to over a thousand heterosexual couples.
Thousands have gathered in Tel Aviv to protest the government’s petition. Many Israeli celebrities have echoed these sentiments, none more so than Skaat who posted an emotional reaction on Facebook.
“The day will come in a few years that you will have to enlist in the army and do your part,” Harel wrote. “As an Israeli who loves his country and is proud to be a Jew and talks about that around the world, who served proudly in the army and whose boyfriend is an IDF major who serves almost a month out of the year, I call on you not to enlist in the army!”
But he went further than military service, suggesting that those treated as second-class citizens should behave as such to send the government a message.
“And you know what, don’t pay taxes either on the money you will soon be earning. Basically any requirement the country asks of you — ignore. Because that’s what they do to you and the equal rights that are due to you.”
Skaat’s explosive comments reflect the sentiments of many within the LGBT community in Israel, which is vast. Last month Tel Aviv Pride Parade attracted around 200,000 people and the proposed legislation would be a huge setback in the push for equality in the country.
Harel came out of the closet in 2012 and spoke with wiwibloggs at World Pride in London that year. It marked his first time performing at an LGBT Pride event.
Speaking of his gay fans, he said: “I love them and I appreciate them and I thank them for their support — now and before I came out.”
“It was a really good experience to stand there on that stage — the first time I’ve been to a gay parade.”
In 2010, Harel Skaat placed fourteenth with his song “Milim”.
The song was a fan favourite, placing second with OGAE, ahead of “Satellite“, the eventual winner of the contest.
It also won all three Marcel Bezençon Awards in 2010 and is the only song ever to achieve a clean sweep.