Golda Meir

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Meir, Golda

(māēr`), 1898–1978, Israeli political leader, b. Kiev, Russia, originally named Golda Mabovitch. Her family emigrated to the United States in 1906, settling in Milwaukee. She became a school teacher and early involved herself in the Zionist labor movement. In 1921 she and her husband, Morris Meyerson (the name was hebraized to Meir in 1956), emigrated to Palestine. She joined the Palestine labor movement and became (1936) head of the political department of the Histadrut (General Federation of Jewish Labor). After Israeli independence was achieved (1948), she served as minister to Moscow, minister of labor (1949–56), and foreign minister (1956–66). She became secretary-general of the Mapai party (later the Labor party) in 1966. On the death (1969) of Levi Eshkol, Meir became interim prime minister pending elections, but she retained her post after the elections were held (Oct., 1969). As prime minister she maintained a difficult coalition at home, while negotiating abroad with the hostile Arab nations and with the United States. In 1971 she managed to defeat a "no-confidence" vote in parliament engineered by opposition members on the grounds that she had made excessive concessions to Egypt in peace negotiations. Despite criticism, however, she retained tremendous personal popularity. In Oct., 1973, she rallied Israeli forces following a surprise combined Egyptian-Syrian offensive (see Arab-Israeli WarsArab-Israeli Wars,
conflicts in 1948–49, 1956, 1967, 1973–74, and 1982 between Israel and the Arab states. Tensions between Israel and the Arabs have been complicated and heightened by the political, strategic, and economic interests in the area of the great powers.
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). After the hostilities ceased, her government, particularly defense minister Moshe DayanDayan, Moshe
, 1915–81, Israeli military leader, b. Palestine. After attending Senior Agricultural School in Nahalal, Dayan fought with the Haganah (Jewish militia) throughout the 1930s and with the British Army during World War II.
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, was criticized for its unpreparedness. After two unsuccessful attempts to form a new coalition government, she resigned in Apr., 1974, and left office in May.

Bibliography

See her This Is Our Strength: Selected Papers, ed. by H. M. Christman (1962), and A Land of Our Own: An Oral Autobiography, ed. by M. Syrkin (1973); biographies by E. Agres (1969), P. Mann (1971), and R. Slater (1981).

Meir, Golda

 

(Golda Myerson). Born Apr. 21 (May 3), 1898, in Kiev. Israeli statesman and political leader.

Meir emigrated to the USA with her family in 1906. After graduating from the Teachers’ Training College in Milwaukee, she taught English in the public schools. She was active in the Zionist movement in the USA and in Palestine, where she emigrated in 1921. From 1926 to 1946, Meir held various important positions in the trade union association Histadrut (General Federation of Labor). She worked in the Jewish Agency, an international organization representing Zionist interests in Palestine, from 1946 to 1948.

In 1948–49, Meir served as Israeli minister to the USSR. She was Israel’s minister of labor and social security from 1949 to 1952, minister of labor from 1952 to 1956, and foreign minister from 1956 to 1966. From 1966 to 1968 she served as general secretary of the Mapai (Israel Workers’ Party), a Zionist rightwing socialist party. Meir was prime minister of Israel from March 1969 to April 1974. Relying on the support of international Zionist circles and imperialist forces in the USA and Western Europe, her government pursued an expansionist policy toward the Arab countries. Meir became vice-president of the Socialist International in June 1972.

Meir, Golda (b. Golda Mabovitch)

(1898–1978) Israeli politician; born in Kiev, Ukraine. She emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1906 and became a teacher and Zionist activist in Milwaukee. She emigrated to Palestine in 1921 after her marriage to Morris Myerson (she Hebraized her married name in 1956) and worked as a Zionist and labor activist. Elected to the Israeli parliament in 1949, she held labor (1949–56) and foreign affairs (1956–66) cabinet portfolios and was Israel's fourth prime minister (1969–74). Although credited with strengthening Israel through immigration policies and construction programs, she was forced to resign in the wake of Israel's losses in the October 1973 war.