Was diplomat denied post in Angola because he is openly gay?

According to reports in local media, appointment of Yitzhak Yanuka held up by Angolan government.

By
April 30, 2010 02:12
1 minute read.
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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.

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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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