Israel / Politics /
Hebrew: goldah ma'ir
Arabic: juldā mā'īr
(1898-1978) Israeli politician, prime minister from 1969-1974, co-founder of the state of Israel.
Meir was a pragmatic and charismatic leader, one of the figures giving the young Israel a face in the rest of the world. Even after resignation in 1974, did she retain great popularity.
1898 May 3: Born in Kiev in Russia (today Ukraine). Her maiden name was Goldie Mabovitz.
1906: Moves to USA, where the family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1917: After graduating from Milwaukee Teachers College, she marries Morris Myerson. At this time she was an active Zionist.
1921: Together with her husband she moves to Palestine, with the purpose of building a homeland for the Jews. In the following years, she works in several Zionist movements, changing location between Palestine, Europe and USA. She holds key positions in the Jewish Agency, the central Jewish body in Palestine, and in the World Zionist organization.
1945: Divorces her husband.
1948: With the declaration of the state of Israel, Golda Myerson is one of the signatories.
1948: Becomes ambassador to the Soviet Union.
1949: Returns home from the Soviet Union, she is elected as member of the Knesset. She is elected minister of labour and social insurance.
1956: Changes her surname into the Hebrew 'Meir'.
Becomes minister of foreign affairs.
1966: Becomes secretary general for the Labour party, a position she holds until 1968.
1969: Becomes prime minister.
1973 October 6: Israel's military weakness is for the first time displayed with the Yom Kippur war, a war Israel was not prepared for, and of which the attack from the Arab neighbours, Syria and Egypt, came as a great surprise. Israel would probably have lost if not for Western intervention. Golda Meir is, together with her defence minister, Moshe Dayan, strongly criticised.
1974: After elections, where her Labour party suffered a setback, Meir is not able to form a coalition government, and resigns as prime minister.
1978 December 8: Meir dies in Jerusalem.