JERUSALEM (Dec. 28)
Benjamin Begin, son of former Premier Menachem Begin, has renewed his attacks on Ariel Sharon, who was his father’s Defense Minister before and during the Lebanon war.
An interview in the Jerusalem weekly Kol Ha’ir quoted the younger Begin as describing Sharon as “a non-positive development which will jeopardize the ability of Herut to recruit public support.” Sharon, who is Minister of Commerce and Industry in the present unity coalition government, said he would not react to Begin’s comments.
Begin denied later that he intended to attack Sharon personally. He said he had “no personal problem” with the outspoken Herut hardliner. But the interview made it clear that the younger Begin is determined to diminish Sharon’s role in Herut, the party his father founded and led for more than 30 years.
Begin, whose political views are considered less hawkish than those of the former Premier, is making a major effort to strengthen his own position in Herut. He regularly visits the party’s branches throughout the country. So far he has had little success. He failed to win support for his positions at the recent Herut convention.
But that defeat has not deterred him from political activity and he continues to make his voice heard though he normally shies away from public appearances.