by Ezra HaLevi Arutz Sheva April 27, 2006
Sweden is boycotting an international air force exercise in Italy next month due to the fact that Israelâ€™s Air Force will take part. It has also decided to grant entry visas to Hamas members.
Though not mentioning the Jewish State by name, Swedenâ€™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 just granted visas to members of the Hamas terror group as well. Swedenâ€™s Ambassador Robert Rydberg was called to Israelâ€™s Foreign Ministry Thursday to explain the move.
MK Zevulun Orlev slammed both decisions, saying that just a day after Holocaust Remembrance Day â€œan enlightened nation has surrendered to the Islamic axis of evil.â€