born 1898

The young Golda Meir emigrated from Russian-ruled Kiev ~ where her family was threatened by pogroms ~ to the middle of the Midwest. But, the long-time Zionist didn't find a place to call home until she helped found the first Jewish state. 

After teaching Yiddish in Milwaukee, Golda married her husband Morris on the condition they'd move to Palestine. After getting her start as a labor leader + hugely successful fundraiser for the Israeli cause, she would go on to serve on Israel's council for the rest of her life. Today, she is remembered as 1 of the nation's most famous prime ministers ~ a stateswoman at the center of international affairs.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Golda Meir (9)

"There is only one thing I hope to see before I die and that is that my people should not need expressions of sympathy anymore."

with reporters following the International Conference on Refugees in Evian-les-Bains, France | 1938

"A leader who doesn't hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader."

As good as Golda: The warmth and wisdom of Israel's Prime Minister | may 1967

"Don't be so humble—you're not that great."

interview with Israeli politician Simcha Dinitz | march 1969

"Our secret weapon is: no alternative."

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Richard M. Nixon | september 1969

"It is true we have won all our wars, but we have paid for them. We don’t want victories anymore."

'We won our wars - we don't need victories': An interview with Premier Golda Meir | october 1969

"Maybe it's not realistic, but many unrealistic dreams have come true."

'We won our wars - we don't need victories': An interview with Premier Golda Meir | october 1969

"Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil."

State dinner in honor of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt | 1973

"I will not write about my private life. I will not settle political or other scores with anyone. I will not take advantage of the high office I have just left, or of anything I learned there."

negotiations with George Weidenfeld, the publisher of Golda's autobiography | 1975

"One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present."

My Life | 1975
  • Quotabelle profile
  • Golda Meir

curated with care by Alicia Williamson {september 2014}