Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon delivered a crushing riposte to Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom's comments, as he gave an interview with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) Friday morning.
Wallstrom had told CNN Thursday she would be “happy” to send Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman some IKEA furniture, after Liberman denounced Sweden’s decision to recognize the Palestinian Authority (PA) as "the State of Palestine," saying that, “relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA."
“I think it’s a sign of a sense of humor, and I will be happy to send him a flat pack of IKEA furniture and he will also see that what you need to put that together is, first of all, a partner,” Wallstrom said in her rejoinder. “You also need to cooperate and you need a good manual."
In his interview, Nachshon directly attacked Wallstrom's points: "It's nice to send a piece of furniture from IKEA, but when it comes with a manual in an unintelligible language and is missing screws, it doesn't help."
He added: "Until this crisis, we had excellent relations with Sweden - the recognition of a Palestinian state has surprised us." He also noted that "the recall of an ambassador is a well known action in international relations. The Swedes got the message."
Liberman recalled Isaac Bachman, Israel's ambassador to Sweden, hours after issuing his critique of Sweden's decision.
Regarding that action, Nachshon told the Associated Press, "this indeed reflects our irritation and annoyance at this unhelpful decision which does not contribute to a return to negotiations."