from Israel by Ido Sarid

Israel's Eurovision 2010 star Harel Skaat


Harel Skaat was one of the finalists of the Israeli equivalent to “American Idol” in 2004.
In 2010 he represented Israel in Eurovision and was one of the favorites to win according to the polls. There were always lots of rumors about his sexual orientation – obviously he was a sex symbol not only to teenage girls…
After a terror attack in a Teenage Youth Center in Tel Aviv in August 2009, many said “now it’s the time to come out of the closet”. In the annual memorial rally to the victims of the massacre, Harel Skaat gave a performance and said “I thank you for inviting me, and I’m proud to be here”.
Gal Ochovsky, a journalist and a film maker said, “I feel humiliated by the appearance of Skaat here and it makes me feel very bad”, meaning that it’s unacceptable that a closet case stands on the podium at such an event, hiding his sexual orientation. Many criticized Ochovsky for Outing Skaat publicly and humiliating him in the media. Ochovsky replied that “may be the threat of outing shake people and in doing so it make them come out of the closet eventually”.

In a documentary film about himself  Skaat said: “When I’ll have a boy friend i’m not going to hide him. But it is unacceptable that I’ll be in the center of the town forced to explain to people who I am… I don’t like the fact when others choose the right time for me”.

A debate that reminds of Rosa von Praunheim’s (in)famous outings in Germany 20 years ago… ago.