Israeli pop star to gay youth: Don't enlist in IDF

Harel Skaat slams Shaked over gov't opposition to same-sex couples adopting children

harel skaat 248.88 (photo credit: )
harel skaat 248.88
(photo credit: )
Israeli singer Harel Skaat has a message for LGBT youth in Israel: don't enlist in the IDF.
The popular singer wrote an emotional Facebook post Sunday night after hearing that the government will petition the Supreme Court to oppose easing the restrictions on adoption by same-sex couples.
Skaat spoke earlier that evening to a gay youth group in Beersheba, and thanked them for listening to his words.
"The day will come in a few years that you will have to enlist in the army and do your part," began Skaat. "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!"
Skaat, who represented Israel in the Eurovision in 2010, has had many hit singles in Israel, including "Now," "Kama Od Efshar" and "Boom." He also served as a judge this past year on the "Next Star for Eurovision" TV competition show.
Skaat had other recommendations for gay youth living in Israel.
"And you know what, don't pay taxes either on the money you will soon be earning," he added. "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."
Gay marriage is not legal in Israel. The country will register, but not recognize, same-sex unions performed outside the country - the same as it does for any civil unions. Same-sex couples are not banned from adopting children in Israel, but they are only considered if a heterosexual couple cannot be found for a child. Gay couples in Israel can also not use legal surrogates in the country, and for that reason, many turn to women living abroad to carry their offspring.
Skaat slammed Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, whose Justice Ministry authored the government submission to the Supreme Court on adoption.
"To Mrs. Ayelet Shaked and all the other cowardly politicians like you," he wrote. "You aren't worthy of us. I can only hope that the millions of people who marched in Tel Aviv in the recent pride parade in order to allow you to boast to the world about your flawed acceptance of us, will become an electoral force that will finally kick you out [of office]. There is a new generation that won't tolerate your hypocrisy much longer."
Around 200,000 people took part in Tel Aviv's Pride Parade last month.
Speaking to Ynet on Monday morning, Skaat made clear he didn't regret or retract anything he said.
"The government's decision hurt me a lot," he said. "This isn't a provocation, it's my life and the lives of hundreds of thousands here in Israel.... I perform with love and pride in front of soldiers and NGOs that support the IDF. I give what I can and I'll continue to do so."