Begin Makes Rare Public Appearance, Visits Grave of Wife Aliza

Former Premier Menachem Begin visited the grave of his wife Aliza on the third anniversary of her death this week. It was one of his rare ventures from his suburban Jerusalem home where he has lived in virtual seclusion since his resignation in September, 1983.

Dozens of press photographers were present at the Mount of Olives cemetery. They followed Begin, frail-looking but firm of step as he walked slowly among the headstones to his wife’s grave. Several Cabinet ministers, Knesset members and Irgun veterans joined the ex-Premier. Security guards kept the press at a distance. Begin was plainly unwilling to speak to reporters.

He has in fact shunned the press since leaving office. Only family members and old friends visit him at home. Intimates say he keeps in close touch with political developments and only last week he was visited by Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir, his successor as leader of Likud. But Begin studiously avoids intervention in party politics.

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