Though not mentioning the Jewish State by name, Sweden’s Defense Minister Leni Bjorklund said that her country was withdrawing its participating due to the fact that "the Swedish Armed Forces were notified at a late stage that a state not belonging to the Partnership for Peace, and with which Sweden did not previously have bilateral military cooperation, and which does not take part in international peacekeeping missions was to take part in the air exercise."
A Swedish official told Israel Radio that Israel was not currently advancing peace and was therefore not fit to take part in the exercise.
Sweden has increasingly led anti-Israel moves in Europe, and the Swedish government has just recently granted visas to members of the Hamas terror group as well. Sweden’s Ambassador Robert Rydberg was called to Israel’s Foreign Ministry Thursday to explain the move.
MK Zevulun Orlev (National Union/NRP) slammed both decisions, saying that just a day after Holocaust Remembrance Day, “an enlightened nation has surrendered to the Islamic axis of evil.”