Ayalon sets conditions for joining cabinet

Denies interest in taking home front minister position.

Defeated Labor leadership candidate Ami Ayalon set three conditions for joining the cabinet in a conversation with The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. Ayalon said he would join the cabinet if he was needed because of security developments, if he was needed because of diplomatic developments or if Labor remained in the government after the final Winograd report was released. Labor chairman Ehud Barak has purposely left one of Labor's available cabinet seats vacant while waiting to see whether the final Winograd report would result in Labor's leaving the coalition. Barak and Ayalon have been on good terms since the June 12 Labor race. Ayalon denied reports that he was interested in joining the government as a minister-without-portfolio in charge of rehabilitating the home front. He said the home front should be the responsibility of the Internal Security Ministry because it controls the police. "We don't need a new ministry," Ayalon said. "No one contacted me. As far as I know, [my appointment] is not forthcoming." Ayalon authored a report about the state of the home front during the Second Lebanon War for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee shortly after the war. He said State Comptroller Micha Lindenstraus's recommendations were the same as his and that he agreed with Lindenstraus that Olmert was at fault for mishandling the home front. "I thought he should quit over Winograd," Ayalon said. "To say again that Olmert has to quit won't make it more right or more realistic."