Golda Meir – Jewish Virtual Library
Golda Meir was born in kyiv in 1898. Economic hardship forced her family to immigrate to the United States in 1906, where they settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
in high school he joined the zionist group, poalei zion (workers of zion). She immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine in 1921 with her husband, Morris Myerson, and settled in Kibbutz Merhavya.
Moving to jerusalem in 1924, she became an official with the histadrut union and took a management position with the union’s construction corporation, solel boneh. Between 1932 and 1934 she worked as an emissary in the United States, serving as secretary of the Hehalutz women’s organization; she also became secretary of the histadrut’s action committee, and later of its politics section.
when the pre-state british mandatory authorities jailed most of the jewish community’s top leaders in 1946, she replaced moshe sharett as head of the political department, the main jewish liaison to the british. Elected to the executive of the Jewish Agency, she was active in raising funds in the United States to help cover the costs of Israel’s war of independence, and became one of the most effective spokespersons for the state.
in 1948, david ben-gurion appointed meir to the caretaker government. on may 10, four days before the declaration of independence, she was sent by ben-gurion disguised as an arab on a dangerous mission to amman to persuade king abdullah of jordan not to attack israel. but the king had already decided that his army would invade the Jewish state after the British departure.
In June 1948, Meir was appointed Israel’s ambassador to the Soviet Union. Elected to the Knesset as a Mapai member in 1949, she served as Minister of Labor and National Insurance until 1956. In June 1956, she became Foreign Minister, a post she held until January 1966. As Foreign Minister, meir was the architect of israel’s attempt to build bridges to the emerging independent countries of africa through an assistance program based on practical israeli experience in nation-building. She also strove to consolidate relations with the United States and was successful in creating extensive bilateral relations with Latin American countries.
From 1966 to 1968, she served as the general secretary of mapai and then as the first general secretary of the newly formed labor party. When Prime Minister Levi Eshkol died suddenly in early 1969, the 71-year-old Meir took over as Prime Minister, becoming the world’s third female Prime Minister (after Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka and Indira Gandhi of India).
As prime minister, she inherited the administration of the second eshkol national unity government, but this broke down over the issue of continuing the ceasefire with egypt in the absence of a peace treaty. she then continued in office with the alignment (labor & mapam), the national religious party and the independent liberals.
the most important event of his administration was the yom kippur war, which erupted with massive coordinated attacks by egypt and syria against israel on october 6, 1973. as established by the postwar commission of inquiry, the idf and the government had made a serious mistake in their assessment of Arab intentions.
Although she and the Labor Party won the election (postponed by war until December 31, 1973), she resigned in 1974 in favor of Yitzhak Rabin. She passed away on December 8, 1978 and was buried on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
In 2009, documents revealed that a plot by the terrorist organization Black September to assassinate Meir during his trip to New York City on March 4, 1973 was foiled by the United States. A US intelligence organization intercepted a communication between the Iraqi United Nations Office and the Iraqi Embassy in Washington DC, which contained specific information about the planting of three car bombs in New York City intended to detonate when Meir was nearby. The message was forwarded to the FBI, which worked with the New York Police Department to find and dispose of the explosive devices.