Golda Meir was the “Iron Lady” years before Margaret Thatcher. Her earliest memory as a child in Kiev was of her father boarding up the doors and windows of their house for protection from anti-Semitic mobs. Her father moved to Milwaukee in 1905, and was able to raise enough money to bring the rest of the family the following year. When Meir was 14, she moved to Denver to live with her married sister. It was there that she gained knowledge of all the hot-button issues of the day, such as trade unions, women’s suffrage, and Zionism. She also met her husband there, Morris Meyerson, a sign painter and passionate socialist. In 1921, they both quit their jobs and moved to a kibbutz in Palestine. The kibbutz chose her as its representative to the Histadrut (the General Federation of Labor). In 1928, she was made secretary of the Working Women’s Council, which required her to return to the States. She returned with her two children, but not her husband (they had separated by this point). She continued to remain active in the Histadrut, working her way up to head of its Political Department. When talks of a new Jewish state began to come up, Meir, as acting head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency, was the chief negotiator between the Palestinian Jews and the British authorities. She also traveled back to the United States and raised $50 million on behalf of the new state. Hers was one of the 24 signatures on the Israeli Declaration of Independence. She was made ambassador to the Soviet Union, then Minister of Labour, then Foreign Minister, and then, in 1969, the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. She resigned in 1974 due to the controversy surrounding the Yom Kippur War, but remained a beloved public figure to the Israeli people.
My Life by Golda Meir
Golda Meir: The Iron Lady of the Middle East by Elinor Burkett