Milk and Honey (Israeli group)

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Milk and Honey
Years active1979–1983, 1987, 1989, 2001, 2009, 2017
  • Reuven Gvirtz
  • Yehuda Tamir
  • Shmulik Bilu
  • Leah Lupatin
Past membersGali Atari

Milk and Honey (Hebrew: חלב ודבש Khalav U'Dvash) was an Israeli vocal group. The original line-up consisted of Shmulik Bilu, Reuven Gvirtz, Yehuda Tamir and Gali Atari.[1]


The group was assembled in 1978 by producer Shlomo Zach and composer Kobi Oshrat, after both Hakol Over Habibi and Yardena Arazi turned down the opportunity to perform Oshrat's song "Hallelujah" in the Israeli national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 1979.[2][3] Milk and Honey eventually won the national selection, and went on to also win the Eurovision Song Contest 1979.[3] "Hallelujah" peaked in the UK Singles Chart at #5 in April 1979.[4] The group had one other international hit, "Goodbye New York".[3]

Less than a year after the song contest, Atari retired from Milk and Honey and was replaced by Leah Lupatin in 1981.[2][3] The same year, Atari sued Zach for unpaid royalties; in 1994, an Israeli court ruled in Atari's favour, ordering Zach to pay the royalties.[2] Subsequently, in 2003, Zach and his partners sued Oshrat, alleging that Oshrat should have also contributed to the payments made to Atari, as he was a partner in the group.[2][3] That lawsuit was settled in 2009 through mediation.[3]

Milk and Honey competed in the national final on two further occasions; they performed the song "Serenada" in 1981, coming fourth, and "Ani Ma'amin" in 1989, where they came eighth. Gvirtz and Tamir accompanied the Israeli song contest act in 1988.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ryan, Kyle (8 February 2013). "In 1979, an Israeli disco act took the world by storm". The A.V. Club.
  2. ^ a b c d e Barak, Itamar (17 February 2003). "1979 Eurovision winners locked in legal battle". ESCToday.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rigal, Yavid (27 March 2019). "40th Anniversary of 'Hallelujah': The Song Which Almost Bankrupted Israel". Haaretz.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records. p. 366. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Preceded by Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by