MK Ram Ben Barak (Yesh Atid) on Wednesday discussed the recent polls which show that his party leader, MK Yair Lapid, may not be able to replace Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
"It's very borderline, and we need to work hard and put in lots of effort," he emphasized in an interview with 103 FM Radio. "We need to replace this government, in our opinion it's really not good, and in our opinion, it's very critical. So we're trying with all our might."
When asked if he was worried about who would end up voting for Yesh Atid, Ben Barak said, "There are 11 Knesset seats' [worth of voters] unsure [of who to vote for]. I think the polls are completely irrelevant because no one can know where those debating will go."
Regarding deserters from other parties, he said, "There's nothing you can do about deserters. This phenomenon is a horrible and awful phenomenon."
Though he refused to name names, Ben Barak emphasized that voters should think about who might desert when deciding who to vote for.
"I don't want to hurt anyone," he defended himself, adding that in his opinion, "people know very well and will look at the parties and see if they have deserters, who came from other parties."
He noted that Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope party includes MKs Yoaz Hendel and Zvika Hauser, "who have switched three times in two years." He added: "Each time they found a reason why they should switch."
"In Meretz, no one will desert, and in Yesh Atid, no one will desert," he added.
When asked about negotiations with the Joint Arab List, he said, "We talk with everyone, and at the end of the day, in the Knesset...there are 120 members, and when you want to form a government you need to have the support of 61 of them."
Regarding whether members of the Joint Arab List or its breakoff Ra'am faction would be part of a future coalition, Ben Barak said: "I don't see that as an option. By the way, I see it as very unfortunate. I think that if there was an Arab party that would say, 'We're an Arab and nationalist party in the State of Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish nation,' so then from my perspective all [options] would be open. To my great dismay we are not there yet, I very much hope that we will be there soon."
"Right now it does not seem an option to me," he emphasized.