JERUSALEM (Nov. 6)
Former Premier Menachem Begin failed to attend the memorial service on Mt. Olives last Friday to mark the first anniversary of the death of his wife, Aliza. Begin’s children. Premier Yitzhak Shamir and his wife Shulamit, dozens of friends as well as journalists did show up, however, for the 15-minute ceremony.
Begin was known to have been exceptionally close to his late wife, and therefore it was expected that he would be present at the service. The fact that he was not was interpreted as an indication that he is in poor health.
Begin retired to his residence 60 days ago and has not emerged since, reportedly because of a skin disease which prevents him from shaving. He has seen only family members and his close associates, Yehiel Kadishai and Cabinet Secretary Dan Meridor. Even Shamir has not seen Begin since he assumed office.