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      Schneller: Livni Has Forgotten Kadima is Centrist

      Kadima MK Otniel Schneller said he does not understand party-leader Tzipi Livni's desire to partner with Labor; says party center-right.
      By Gabe Kahn.
      First Publish: 9/22/2011, 7:09 PM

      Tzipi Livni
      Tzipi Livni
      Flash 90

      MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) on Thursday said he does not understand opposition-leader Tzipi Livni's declaration that the Labor Party is Kadima's "natural Zionist partner."

      Livni declared her intention to partner with Shelly Yechamovich, who beat our Amir Peretz to head the party, in the Labor primaries this week.

      Yechnimovich is a left-wing activist, journalist, and politician known for consistently taking strident, radical stances on social issues and being a consumate dove vis-a-vis the peace process.

      Immediately after Yechimovich's victory, Livni said, "I see the Labor party as our natural Zionist partner in forging a just peace and fair society. This is the common task facing party leaders willing to meet the challenges facing the State of Israel today."

      Schneller countered, saying, "Kadima's institutions, the majority of the party, is basically center-right. [Livni] wants Kadima to become the backbone of the Israeli left".

      "Tzipi Livni too often forgets Kadima was founded to represent a centrist position in the political spectrum," Scheller said. "I always preferred the people, the middle way way."

      "Allying ourselves with leftist parties raises questions about the path Kadima's leadership is taking, and the party's position as politically centrist," Schneller added.

      Critics of Livni describe her strategy as opposition leader as being "opposition for its own sake," rather than presenting a principled alternative to government policy.

      Yechimovich on Wednesday openly declared she was seeking to dethrone Livni as opposition leader, saying, "I will provide a real opposition alternative to Likud."

      "Kadima does not constitute an opposition because it does not present an alternative and engages in the same capitalistic, neo-liberal discourse," she added.