Golda Meir, fourth Prime Minister of Israel

“Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart, don’t know how to laugh either.”

Golda Meir (May 3, 1898 – December 8, 1978) was an Israeli teacher, kibbutznik, stateswoman and politician and the fourth elected Prime Minister of Israel.

Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel on March 17, 1969, after serving as Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister. The world’s fourth and Israel’s first and only woman to hold such an office, she has been described as the “Iron Lady” of Israeli politics, though her tenure ended before that term was applied to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Former Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion used to call Meir “the best man in the government”; she was often portrayed as the “strong-willed, straight-talking, grey-bunned grandmother of the Jewish people”.

Meir resigned as prime minister in 1974, the year following the Yom Kippur War. She died in 1978 of lymphoma.

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