Golda Meir (1898–1978,) born Golda Mabovitch, was an Israeli political leader who served as Prime Minister from 1969 until 1974. She was the “Iron Lady of Israeli Politics,” and gained a reputation as a straight-talking, obstinate leader.
Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Meir was educated in the United States. She moved to Palestine in her twenties after the World War I, and became head of the Jewish Labour movement.
One of the signatories on Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948, Meir became ambassador to the Soviet Union. She got elected to the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and held many ministerial positions until she retired in her late sixties. When Prime Minister Levi Eshkol died suddenly, Meir was called back to take his place. She stayed in office for five years.
Meir led the country during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which a coalition of Arab nations led by Egypt and Syria unexpectedly attacked Israel over disputed Palestinian territory. The war exposed inadequacies in Israel’s defense strategy and military intelligence. In April of the following year, when the official report on the war was published, Meir was forced to resign in disfavor.
Meir published an autobiography My Life (1975.) She died after a twelve-year struggle against leukemia.
I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.
A leader who doesn