Saturday, 16 June 2012

1969, News: Golda Meir

Golda Meir (Golda Meyerson) was elected Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969, after serving as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister.

Golda Meir, born Golda Mabovich (May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was a teacher, kibbutznik (a kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture) and politician who became the fourth Prime Minister of Israel.

Golda Mabovitch was born in Kiev, Russian Empire (now Ukraine). In 1906 she moved with her family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. Golda attended the Fourth Street Grade School (now Golda Meir School) from 1906 to 1912. At 14, she studied at North Division High School and worked part-time. She became an active member of Young Poale Zion, which later became Habonim, the Labor Zionist youth movement.
Golda Meir feeding chickens in the kibbutz
She attended the teachers college Milwaukee State Normal School (now University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee), in 1916. After graduating from Milwaukee Normal, she taught in Milwaukee public schools. In 1917, she married Morris Meyerson. Together, they left their jobs to join a kibbutz in the British Mandate of Palestine in 1921. In 1924, she and her husband left the kibbutz and resided briefly in Tel Aviv before settling in Jerusalem. There they had two children, a son Menachem (born 1924) and a daughter Sarah (born 1926). In 1928, she was elected secretary of Moetzet HaPoalot (Working Women's Council), which required her to spend two years (1932–1934) as an emissary in the United States. The children went with her, but Morris stayed in Jerusalem. Morris and Golda grew apart, but never divorced. Morris died in 1951.
Golda Meir with husband Morris Meyerson
In 1934, when Meir returned from the United States, she joined the Executive Committee of the Histadrut and moved up the ranks to become head of its Political Department. This appointment was important training for her future role in Israeli leadership. In July 1938, Meir was the Jewish observer from Palestine at the Évian Conference, called by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to discuss the question of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution.

In June 1946 Golda became the principal negotiator between the Jews in Palestine and the British Mandatory authorities. In January 1948, the treasurer of the Jewish Agency was convinced that Israel would not be able to raise more than $7–8 million from the American Jewish community. Meir travelled to the United States and managed to raise $50 million, which was used to purchase arms in Europe for the nascent state. Meir was one of 24 signatories (two of them women) of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. Meir was appointed Israel's ambassador to the Soviet Union (1948-1949).
Golda Meir at the Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948
 In 1949, Meir was elected to the Knesset and served continuously until 1974. From 1949 to 1956, she served as Minister of Labour, introducing major housing and road construction projects. In 1956, she became Foreign Minister under Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
Golda Meir with President Kennedy in 1962
 After Levi Eshkol's sudden death on February 26, 1969, the party elected Meir as his successor. In 1974, after the conclusion of the Yom Kippur War, Meir resigned as prime minister. She died in 1978.
Golda Meir with President Nixon and Henry Kissinger in 1973


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