Israel's first ambassador of Ethiopian origin was appointed yesterday - and the honor went to a woman.

Belaynish Zevadia, who was also the Foreign Ministry's first cadet of Ethiopian origin, will now be Israel's ambassador in Addis Ababa, the capital of the country where she was born and from whence she immigrated to Israel. The Foreign Ministry's appointments committee announced her appointment last night, and it is expected to be easily approved by the cabinet in the coming weeks.

Zevadia, 43, moved to Israel at age 17. Since joining the diplomatic corps, she has served in the Israeli consulates in two American cities, Chicago and Houston.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman welcomed her appointment yesterday, terming it "a message to Israeli society, which is currently fighting racism against the Ethiopian community. This sends a message of fighting against discrimination," said Lieberman. "In Israel, people are judged not by the color of their skin or their gender, but by their qualifications and their ability to contribute to society. I'm convinced that she will represent Israel with honor."