Daily Israel Report

Schneller: Kadima Has Lost its Way

MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) says his party has lost its way, but hopes it will return to its pluralist roots after coming party elections.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 11/17/2011, 5:23 PM

MK Otniel Schneller
MK Otniel Schneller
Flash 90

MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) told Arutz Sheva on Thursday the Kadima party has lost its way -- but he isn't leaving just yet.

"When we created Kadima we had a vision of bridging the gaps in Israeli society," Schneller said. "We wanted to help pluralize Israel's communities. The secular and religious. The right and left. Not to be black and white... its not so easy."

"But after the last election, when some Kadima members left for the Likud and some joined from Labor, the party shifted to the left. We became a left-wing party. We weren't open, anymore. We weren't trying to be a bridge. We became more like Shinui."

Shinui was a short lived anti-hareid party founded by the late, outspoken media personality Tommy Lapid.

"There was no respect for Jewish groups, for the religious, for the hareidim," Schneller told Arutz Sheva. "We lost our way."

Schneller, however, said recent reports he is planning to leave Kadima are unfounded. Instead, Schneller hopes, Kadima will return to its centrist and pluralist roots after elections for the party chairmanship are held.

"I will wait and see who wins the party primaries," Schneller said. "I will find out who will be our next chairman. I will sit with them, and speak with them, and question them very carefully about what the party will be like."

"A party is a tool, something you use to pursue policy goals through," Schneller explained. "I hope we return to our vision: trying to bridge the gaps, trying to create unity."

"Once we know what the future Kadima will be, what its policy goals are... then I can make decisions about whether it is the tool I want to use," he summarized.