Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni's refusal to join a government led by Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu has not only raised criticism among several of her party's senior members who do not wish to sit in the opposition, but also by associates of outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Sources close to the prime minister harshly criticized Livni's decision to remain outside the coalition, saying that "in light of the reality and the missions facing the State, Kadima would be making a mistake by not joining the government. It's wrong to let the Right handle thing alone."
According to the sources, the establishment of a narrow right-wing government may cause serious diplomatic damage.
"Everything here is connected to everything," one of Olmert's aides said. "There is nothing disconnected from internal politics, and therefore a right-wing government may cause serious damage to Israel foreign relations."
The prime minister's associates fear that because of its policy and basic guidelines, a right-wing government may create tensions with Western countries, and primarily with the United States.
"We're not only talking about diplomatic issues," one of them said. "A wrongful policy may prompt the US not to let Israel launch security operations in various and complicated arenas, and even to cut its aid to Israel."
The associates noted that Kadima should serve as a "balancing factor" inside the government, which would prevent the coalition from deteriorating to a "problematic" rightist policy.
"The location of the break-even-point inside the government is very important," said a source close to the prime minister. "If the break-even-point is not in the center, it moves to the edges. This is dangerous and is not good for Israel."
Olmert's aides went on to slam the media for encouraging the formation of a narrow right-wing government and failing to criticize Livni's decision not to join the coalition.
"The media are looking at the pictures from a narrow point of view, and this is wrong. This is not the time to encourage the formation of such a government," one of the associates said.