Begin Reported to Be Renewing Interest in Political Developments

Former Premier Menachem Begin, who has lived in virtual seclusion since his surprise resignation more than a year ago, has begun to show interest in political developments and has had a number of meetings recently with several of his former colleagues.

According to Yediot Achronot, Begin met this week with former Finance Minister Yoram Aridor and with Minister of Commerce and Industry Ariel Sharon. His discussion with Sharon centered on the latter’s $50 million libel suit against time magazine, the newspaper reported.

Begin reportedly had a lengthy telephone conversation a few days ago with Deputy Premier Yitzhak Shamir who replaced him as the leader of Likud. Begin was said to have expressed great interest in the party’s internal developments, particularly the touchy relations between its Herut and Liberal Party wings.

The newspaper quoted intimates of Begin as saying he spends most of this time reading and watching television and that he keeps up to date with current affairs. Yehiel Kadishai, Begin’s long time personal aide, said recently that the former Premier would soon begin writing his memoirs.

But another associate of Begin was quoted to the effect that the former leader has no intention of returning to politics or of trying to exert his influence on the political scene.

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