The appointment of the Israeli ambassador to Angola was held up by the west African country due to the fact that the candidate, Yitzhak Yanuka, is openly homosexual, according to a report in the Angolan media.
Yanuka has been with his partner, Mikey Goldstein, since 1995. Goldstein is the head of the Jerusalem Open House’s committee and has for years been an activist in Israel’s gay and lesbian community.
A few months ago, the Foreign Ministry approved Yanuka’s appointment and waited for Angola’s approval. Angolan officials did not issue an official refusal in order to avoid harming relations, but neither has it confirmed the appointment.
A spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in Luanda, Angola said Thursday that the embassy had heard reports in the local Angolan media that the delay of Yanuka’s appointment was linked to his sexuality, but could not confirm if this was the case.
The spokesman said that an article in an Angolan paper claimed that Angola’s reluctance to approve Yanuka’s appointment may have stemmed from worries that he would bring his partner with him to Luanda.
In recent weeks, Goldstein reportedly decided that he would not
accompany Yanuka if he is appointed, but the Angolans still did not
approve the posting, saying that their reluctance stems from the fact
that they feel the relations between Angola and Israel demand the
appointment of a more senior diplomat than Yanuka.
Yanuka later decided to rescind his candidacy for the post, a decision
that the Foreign Ministry said was for “personal reasons.”
The embassy spokesman said that no one at the embassy has been told by
the Angolan government why Yanuka’s appointment was delayed, adding
that Angola media reports said that Angolan government officials feared
the Israeli diplomat’s appointment “could endanger the relationship
between the Israeli government and the Angolan government.”
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