Golda Meir

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Golda Meir
גּוֹלְדָּה מֵאִיר
جولدا مائير
4th Prime Minister of Israel
In office
March 17 1969 – June 3 1974
Preceded by Levi Eshkol
Succeeded by Yitzhak Rabin
Personal details
Born May 3, 1898(1898-05-03)
Kiev, Russian Empire
Died December 8, 1978(1978-12-08) (aged 80)
Jerusalem, Israel
Political party Mapai, Alignment

Golda Meir (pronounced [Gol-da My-ear]; Hebrew: גולדה מאיר, Arabic: جولدا مائير, born Golda Mabovitch, May 3 1898 - December 8 1978, known as Golda Myerson from 1917 to 1956) was the fourth prime minister of the State of Israel.

Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel on March 17 1969 after serving as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister. She was said to be the "Iron Lady" (a strong minded woman) of Israel's politics years before that name became said about the British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.[1] Meir was Israel's first and so far only female prime minister. She was the world's third female prime minister. The two biggest events of her time as prime minister were the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. After questions about her handling of the war, Meir resigned from her job even though she had been found to be not to blame for problems with the war.

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Before she became prime minister[change | change source]

Her name at birth was Golda Mabovitch (Ukrainian: Голда Мабович) in Kiev in the former Russian Empire (today Ukraine), to Blume Naidich and Moshe Mabovitch, a carpenter.[2] The family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Her father found a job as a carpenter, and her mother ran a grocery store. At the age of eight, she was already put in charge of watching the store when her mother went to the market for supplies. At age 14, Golda went to North Division High School and worked part-time. Her mother wanted her to leave school and marry, but she did not. She ran away from home and bought a train ticket to Denver, Colorado, and went to live with her married sister, Sheyna Korngold. The Korngolds held evening meetings at their home where Meir learned about the Jew's desire for a country of their own, literature, women's rights, trade unions and more. In Denver, she also met Morris Meyerson, a sign painter, whom she later married at the age of 19.[3]

During time as prime minister[change | change source]

The two biggest things to happen during her time as prime minister were; the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games by the terrorist group Black September, and the twenty day war called the Yom Kippur War between Israel and the Arab states led by Egypt and Syria in October 1973.

End of time in office[change | change source]

The Yom Kippur War was from October 6 to October 26, 1973 and was between a group of Arab countries led by Syria and Egypt against Israel. Israel was surprised by the attack and after the Yom Kippur War, the government was asked questions about Israel's not being ready for the war. A group of people who were asked to look into the war cleared her of direct blame, and her party won the elections in December 1973, but she left on April 11 1974, because of what she felt the people of Israel wanted.[4] Yitzhak Rabin became prime minister after her on June 3 1974.

In 1975, Meir was awarded the Israel Prize for her services to the State of Israel.[5]

Death[change | change source]

On December 8 1978, Golda Meir died of cancer in Jerusalem at the age of 80. She was buried Helkat Gdolei Ha'uma in Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on December 12 1978.

Golda Meir's grave on Mount Herzl

References[change | change source]

  1. Golda Meir, a BBC News profile.
  2. Golda Meir's American Roots
  3. Golda Meir: An Outline Of A Life Metropolitan State College of Denver
  4. Biography of Golda Meir Zionism and Israel
  5. Golda Meir Virtual Jerusalem
Party political offices
Preceded by
Yigal Allon
Interim leader
Leader of the Alignment
1969–1974
Succeeded by
Yitzhak Rabin