Ayalon joins Cabinet

Ehud Barak’s former top party rival is joining the Israeli Cabinet as minister.

Ami Ayalon, who lost to Barak in a June vote for Labor Party leader, will be minister without portfolio in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government.

Under the deal, which came into effect Saturday, ex-admiral Ayalon will be the Cabinet’s delegate for ensuring the Israeli homefront is prepared for future wars.

Barak, a former premier who currently serves as Olmert’s defense minister, brought Ayalon into the government as part of a bid to unite Labor behind him ahead of a prospective future run for top office.

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