With the coalition teetering on the verge of disaster, the opposition continues to seek out potential defectors to give them the precious 61st vote that will enable them to topple the government and force new elections. Channel 13 News spoke with New Hope MK Sharren Haskel to find out what her intentions were and to hear what she had been offered in return for defecting.
"They have been making me offers," Haskel confirmed. "They told me that everything's on the table, from the Finance Ministry to the Foreign Ministry, but at the end of the day, when you weigh up everything, New Hope went into this government in order to change the political situation here, and that's what we're doing."
Haskel added that she has recently spoken with MK Yariv Levin, who suggested that she would be able to pass the Cannabis Law she has been vigorously promoting - on condition that she joined the opposition. "I refused," she said. "I'm not going to be the next person to defect. I'm going down this path with [New Hope leader] Gideon [Sa'ar] and I will continue to do so."
When asked if her party would agree to join a government headed by the Likud party if the Likud were no longer led by Benjamin Netanyahu, she replied, "I think that if there's someone else and other options, then we could revisit this question." New Hope has consistently vowed never to join a government headed by Netanyahu, which scuppered many options for forming a government in the aftermath of the last elections.
Haskel was also challenged on recent statements from coalition members such as Yair Lapid, Foreign Secretary and Alternate Prime Minister, indicating that the government will cooperate with the opposition Joint List party if necessary, in order to obtain a majority in the Knesset plenum.
Haskel avoided replying directly, merely stating that, "We'll think about that if and when the question arises. In my opinion, what the Joint List wants is to topple the government and go to elections."