A Woman Called Golda (1982) (TV)

 

 

 

Director:     Alan Gibson.

Starring:     Ingrid Bergman (Golda Meir), Ned Beatty (Sen. Durward), Franklin Cover (Hubert Humphrey), Judy Davis (Young Golda), Anne Jackson (Lou Kaddar/Narrator), Robert Loggia (Anwar Sadat), Leonard Nimoy (Morris Meyerson), Jack Thompson (Ariel), Bruce Boa (Macey), Anthony Bate (Sir Stuart Ross), Ron Berglas (Stampler), David de Keyser (David Ben-Gurion), Barry Foster (Wingate), Nigel Hawthorne (King Abdullah), Yossi Graber (Moshe Dayan)

Based on a four hour teleplay. Ingrid Bergman won an Emmy for her performance in this story of the life and times of Golda Meir, Israeli prime minister.

 

Spoiler Warning:  Below is a summary of the entire film. 

Part I.

Milwaukee, 1977, the Fourth Street School. One time Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir, is coming home for a visit. Her personal assistant Lou Kaddar is with her. She comments that it was a great day for Golda. She had to remind her of some things, but that was her job for thirty years. The school of mostly black children are gathered in the auditorium to listen to Golda. A little girl brings her a bouquet of yellow roses.

The host introduces Golda as "out most distinguished graduate". She was valedictorian of her class. One of the students wants to know why she left America to go to Israel? She says she was not born in the United States, but in Russia. She remembers the times of the pogroms in Russia.

Flashback. The gentile Russians claimed that the Jews killed their Lord. She and her sister Shanna have to remain quiet so their presence will not be discovered. Shanna asks her father what if they comb back?

Golda remembers being mad at her father because he would says there was nothing they could do about the situation. But there was something better to do. Golda decides to be a Zionist, who wants to make a country for the Jews in Palestine. But back then Palestine was ruled by the Turkish government.

Back to the Present. Golda tells the children that her family emigrated to America. Her father was a carpenter and Milwaukee was where he found work. She says she wanted to be a teacher. She never really thought about getting married. That is until somebody special came along, a sign painter who loved poetry and music.

Flashback. Golda with Morris Meyerson would go to concerts in the park because they were free. After one of the concerts Morris brings up the subject of marriage. He admits he doesnít have a lot to offer her, but he does love her very much. She says that she loves him too. But she has this dream of going to Palestine. She wants to live in a kibbutz and help bring the Jewish people the peace that other people have. (And in the Balfour Declaration the British liked the idea of a Jewish state.) But Morris says heís not going, never.

Palestine 1921. Morris and Golda are at a kibbutz. One of the leaders tells them that their application has not been accepted. He suggests that maybe they will be accepted in another kibbutz. But they can stay for awhile until they get accepted by another kibbutz. After a while of staying at the kibbutz, Morris says itís enough. They can go home now, he says. Golda laughs and says thatís the funniest joke she ever heard.

Morris has brought his phonograph and listens to music. There is a knock on the door and he says itís probably the neighbors coming to complain about the loud music. But the man at the door asks Morris if he can leave the door open so everyone else in the kibbutz can hear the music. Soon the whole room is filled with people looking at the phonograph without a horn.

Morris and Golda are told that they have been put on probation for three months. Golda is very excited. She walks across the compound in her white dress. A shot lands near her. A man named Ariel shoves her to the ground and covers her with his body. He scolds her saying she should never come out at night dressed in white. A little later he says there will probably be no more shooting tonight and lets her up.

Back to the present. Golda explains to the Milwaukee school children that a kibbutz is a place where people live, work together and eat together. Nobody owns anything by themselves, but in a way they own the entire kibbutz. Golda remembers it was very hard work. Morris had to move rocks from the fields and had to plow behind a horse. Golda had the job of plucking chickens.

Flashback. In the field Morris collapses while plowing. The men have to rush out to make sure he is alright. Golda helps in the kitchen. Then the water goes off. The women explain there is a valve on the roof that periodically gets closed off. Now they will have to get a man to fix it. But Golda says they donít need a man. She climbs up to the roof and over to the valve. She hits the valve with a piece of pipe and the water flows again.

The kibbutz committee is considering accepting Morris and Golda. Some committee members, especially the women, says that Golda would turn the kibbutz upside down. They canít stand her needing to iron her dresses and wearing stockings to dinner. But the men says that Golda is an absolute joy to have around.

Golda tells Morris that she wants to have a baby. But Morris says no to a baby. He doesnít want his children to be raised by someone else.

Golda tells Morris that the committee wants her to go to Haifa for a management course. Morris says if she wants to go, she should go. The course turns out to be on how to raise chickens.

The kibbutz has a party, but Morris looks very poorly. Ariel tells Golda that the poultry section is showing a profit under her management. He says that whatever she does, she does it well. So now they want Golda to be a delegate to the main labor union. Ariel is already a delegate and the two of them will go together.

A siren sounds. Itís an enemy raiding party. Golda is very worried about her husband. The Arabs cut the wire fence around the houses. Morris is trying to get his shotgun ready, but is making a mess of it. Golda has to take it from him. She gets it loaded and runs out to give the weapon to the men on the line. But it turns out that it was only an exercise staged by the Jewish paramilitary organization known as the Haganah.

Morris tells Golda that he has only the mildest form of malaria. How does he know? Because he read all about it in the kibbutz library. He tells his wife that he is leaving the kibbutz. He says he is just not the right person for life in a kibbutz. He just canít do it. And he doesnít like always feeling sick and useless. Golda says if he leaves, she leaves. So they leave. Before leaving Morris gives the kibbutz people his phonograph.

Morris and Golda settle in Jerusalem. Morris becomes a book keeper but his wages are too low. Golda says these were the worst years of her life. They now have two children and little food.

Golda has to take food from a grocery market. She explains her situation, but the store owner insists on still calling the police. Ariel sees her crying inside the shop. She tells him that they have been in Jerusalem for about a year. Ariel says he married Gabby. Ariel cheers her up by saying that they need Goldaís capabilities.

When the grocer arrives with the police Ariel pays the grocer. That over, Ariel tells Golda that she is a born diplomat.

Back home, Golda tells Morris that she is going to take a full-time job. She is going to be the secretary of the Womanís Council. They need a fluent English speaker. The only problem is that the job is in Tel Aviv. Then she tells Morris that she has already taken the job. Morris asks her if she is walking away from him? Golda says no. Her sister will help baby sit and then she will get very good baby sitters through the Womanís Council. What about me? asks Morris. Well, he will visit the family on weekends.

Golda finally says that she has discussed the matter enough already. Now nothing is going to stop her anymore. Morris is upset. He says he should have gone back to America. Golda tells him: "Morris, donít feel that way."

Golda had to admit the failure of her marriage. It was as good as finished. She became torn between her job and her children. No doubt she neglected her children. She would have to leave the kids many times and they would give her a look of reproach that would worry her a great deal. But she felt she had to go.

For the next ten years, while an Austrian corporal was coming to power in Germany, Golda was advancing in the levels of government. She got on the executive committee presided over by the political leader David Ben Gurion.

May 1939. The British issue its controversial white paper. Now they say it is not part of their policy for Palestine to become a Jewish state. Golda wonders how can England go against their own Balfour Declaration that promised to establish a Jewish homeland? The white paper also says that Jewish land will be limited to only 5% of the total land of Palestine. And immigration will be limited to 15,000 over the next five years and after that there will be no immigration.

Golda says when that monster Adolf Hitler was leading up to war, the British government picked this time to slam the door in the faces of Jewish emigration from Europe. The Israelis decide to fight the white paper.

The Israelis start training as many Jewish soldiers as the British would permit. Two men became especially important at this time. There was Orde Wingate, a British army officer, and Moshe Dayan of the Haganah. The British limited the number of Jewish soldiers to be trained to 500. Golda talks to Wingate and asks him to train the 500 , but then train another 500, and so on. Wingate agrees with the idea. He will train as many as he can before he is sent to Burma.

The Israelis smuggle Jewish refugees into Palestine under the watchful eyes of the British destroyers.

There has been some gossip about the close relationship between Golda and Ariel.

April 1945. The Allies start liberating the German concentration camps. Camps of Jewish refugees are set up on the British island of Cyprus. This convinced the Jews in Palestine that they had to take their future into their own hands.

Golda is sent to talk to the British officials on Cyprus. She asks that the commander at least release the Jewish children to her and all of the parents of the children. She finally gets the commander to agree to release the children. But now she has to deal with the adults who have been longest at the camp. Many of them say the people at the camps who have been there the longest should be released first.

Golda calls a meeting of all of the various Jewish committees in the refugee camp. She tells the committee members that they should see the young boys and girls who rush into the sea to save the lives of incoming Jewish refugees. They risk their very lives to help other Jews. She says these blessed children of ours are so wonderful that she is sure that the committee members will want all the children to have a chance to grow up like the young Jewish boys and girls in Palestine. The committees will discuss the matter and tell Golda of their decision. She leaves.

While waiting for the decision, a number of young children give her paper flowers they made in school. Some of the children have never seen a real flower. Golda is very affected by this revelation.

Golda is informed that the children can go first. She is so thankful for their decision. She goes to the barbed wire fence and cries. The British commander tells her she mustnít cry, but Golda tells him she is crying for the children who never saw a flower.

November 29, 1947. The United Nations partitions Palestine into an Arab State and a Jewish State. And the city of Jerusalem was internationalized. Golda thinks how can there be a Jewish state without Jerusalem?

Golda speaks on the radio. She says as of midnight local time they have the right to be a state. She also talks to their neighbors in the Middle East. She says a Jewish state can be of great benefit to everyone in the Middle East. She suggests that they live together in friendship and in peace.

There is a big celebration. Goldaís husband shows up. He tells her that he is drunk with happiness and Golda worked so hard for this moment. Golda says itís been hard on the children. Her husband says that her son Menachem understands that with his mother, the country comes first. They talk about their daughter Sarah who is far out in the Negev Desert on a kibbutz. Its dangerous because she has a kidney problem. But Golda says she talked with the directors of the kibbutz and they told her there is nothing serious for her to worry about.

Golda asks Morris if everything is alright with him? He says it couldnít be better. Before he leaves he tells Golda that he heard her on the radio and it was a wonderful speech.

December 1947. Six months before Israel would become a state, the Arabs started attacking the civilian population. For a military assessment, the Israelis bring in their two top military men: Yigael Yardin, chief of operations, and Yisrael Galili, the Haganah commander. On May 15, the British will pull out of Israel. And the Arabs will invade. Haganah has 100,000 soldiers, including women soldiers. The Arabs have 400,000 soldiers. Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Trans-Jordan will be attacking. And only 10,000 of the 100,000 Haganagh soldiers have been adequately trained.

But if Golda can talk with King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, maybe he will decide not to take part in the attack. Ben Gurion comes to Golda to ask her to go to Amman. Golda says that King Abdullah had assured her personally that he would not attack Israel. Ben Gurion says the trip will be risky, but if she can keep King Abdullah out of the war, it might just save them.

On the three-hour trip with a contact man to Amman, the man tells Golda the trip is a risky one. They will have to go through Arab check points. So the fellow puts Golda in a black Arab womanís outfit. Luckily for them, if a woman is with her husband, the guards donít usually talk to her. At one of the checkpoints the guard does ask Golda a question which she cannot, of course, understand. She doesnít know what the guard wants, so she dumps the contents of her purse on her lap and the contact man grabs her papers to show to the guard. Her contact man has to quickly hide her cigarettes because Arab women donít smoke and because the cigarettes are American ones.

They reach the palace. King Abdullah comes in to greet Golda. They both have a smoke together. Golda tells him that shalom (peace) is all that the Israelis want. She reminds him that he told her he would not attack Israel. She hopes that he will keep his word. This reminder angers the King and he asks the contact man why did they send a woman to talk to him? He says to Golda that now he is only one of five people making the decision to go to war. Okay, says Golda, as long as he knows that if the Israelis fight, they will take as much territory as they can get. The King just doesnít think that is going to happen. The King tells Golda that her daughter lives in a kibbutz directly in the path of the Egyptian army. Golda thanks him for the warning, but says she canít pull her daughter out, because it wouldnít be right.

Golda says they will go to war and they will beat the Arabs. The King gets exasperated and says sheís a stubborn, arrogant, damn woman. (Four years after their talk, King Abdullah was killed by an Arab assassin.) Golda says to herself on the way back home that she failed, that there will be war.

 

Part II.

Jerusalem 1948. To defend themselves against a united Arab attack, Israel needs arms and that will cost $25 million dollars. Ben Gurion says he will go to the United States to get the funds. But Golda speaks up and says he is needed in Israel. She should be the one to go. Ben Gurion doesnít think she should take his place, so Golda suggests they take a vote. The Israeli leader says they are going to challenge him with a vote? Another man speaks ups and says why not? Isnít this a democracy? They take a vote and everyone votes for Golda to go to the United States. Golda goes.

Ariel is there while Golda packs up her things. He tells her that they donít have time for themselves, let alone for each other. He says he is going to Ilsen, Czechoslovakia. They are getting some Messerschmitt 109 fighter planes from a munitions factory. He is going to Ilsen to hire some aircraft mechanics. He says he will parachute in. Golda worries that they will never see each other again. Ariel laughs at this remark.

Chicago, January 1948. Golda has not prepared a speech for her presentation to a Jewish audience. She says sheíll know what to say when she gets up there to speak. She tells her audience that 700,000 Jews are less than for months away from a war. The Israelis will pay for the birth of their nation with their blood. The audience canít decide on war or peace since that has already been determined. There will be war. But they can decide whether the new nation wins or loses. When she finishes she gets a big applause.

Golda raised twice as much money as needed: $50 million rather than $25 million dollars. The money goes to various countries and Israel gets its weapons.

May 15. The establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, under the name of Israel, is declared.

May 16. Six Arab countries invade Israel. In a few more days the Arabs were being contained or driven back. Golda returns to Israel. Ben Gurion and Ariel are there to meet her. The Arabs accept a cease fire. Jerusalem was divided up and for the next nineteen years, the Jews were denied access to their holiest site: the western wall of Solomonís temple.

Ben Gurion was the first Israeli Prime Minister. Golda became his Minister of Labor. Golda decides to hire Lou Kaddar as her assistant. Ben Gurion wants her to take an extremely qualified man, but Golda wonít have him. She tells him she will take Lou and he can take the man as his personal assistant.

For awhile, Israel had peace. A tidal wave of immigrants started coming in from many parts of the world. Golda would help make sure they got jobs.

Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, USA comes to Israel for a visit. Strangely, he is most worried about Israelis couples living together without benefit of marriage. Golda really doesnít think itís that big of a deal, but Humphrey insists it is very important.

Golda visits a kibbutz and talks to a couple living together. She asks them why canít they marry? They donít want to be forced into it. Golda offers them a lot of nice things and they ask whatís the catch? She says there is not catch (but there is). They must get married. They ask her if she would come to the wedding? Actually, she wound up attending a lot of marriages.

In 1951 Goldaís husband Morris dies. She mourns him. She says that she loved him so much in those early day and she has never lost the feeling for him. She is happy that at least their Sarahís marriage is working out. She finishes by saying: "Whatever I was able to accomplish, he paid for."

Golda was Labor Minister for seven years. Then she became a doting Jewish grandmother. Golda says that these were beautiful years, the best of all her life.

But then Gamal Abdul Nasser comes to power in Egypt. And he sends in terrorist groups called Fedayeen to stage indiscriminate attacks on Israel, like the one where they killed six children and their teacher in an agricultural school. On the radio the Egyptians demand the death of Israel.

Egypt was not the only source of problems. A terrorist throws a grenade into a session of the Israeli Parliament. Golda runs up onto the platform to push Ben Gurion to the ground, thereby saving his life. For the rest of her life, she carried shrapnel in one of her legs.

While in the hospital, Ben Gurion comes to visit Golda. He tells her that all cabinet members must have a Hebrew name. So he names her Golda Meir. And Golda Meir will be the next foreign minister. The name Meir means to illuminate, shed light. So he says her name means golden light.

Israel has a second war. Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal and wouldnít let Israeli ships through the canal. The Soviet Union gave weapons to Egypt.

October 29, 1956. Moshe Dayan crossed into the Sinai Peninsula, took the Gaza Strip and then the entire peninsula in less than 100 hours. But military victory turned to political defeat at the United Nations. The Israelis came under intense pressure to withdraw.

Golda speaks at the United Nations. She tells the members that Israel will withdraw. She later comments that she knew at the time that they were making a mistake to withdraw. There would be no peace. Golda traveled all over the world. She felt she accomplished the most in Africa where she set up a program where thousands of Africans would be trained in Israel and Israel would send doctors, engineers and technical specialists to Africa.

Golda and Ariel talk about Idi Amin of Uganda. Then he mentions to her that she never engages in small talk at the dinner table. He says that Gabby wants a divorce and he and Golda should have the same chance that Gabby has. Would Golda marry him? Golda tells him she must sleep on it.

The next morning Golda waits at a restaurant where she will give Ariel his answer. An ambulance with its siren on drives up to Arielís apartment complex. A little later the manager of the complex comes to speak to Golda. He tells her that Ariel died soon after he went into his apartment. Golda goes home and shines up her teapot (something she always does when sheís upset).

Golda buries herself in work. She collapses a few times. At the doctorís office Golda asks about the bumps on her neck. The doctor tells her that it is a disease of the immune system, known as malignant lymphoma, and it will spread to other body systems. But Golda has some good years still ahead of her. She says she is 66 years of age now and asks if the years ahead will be good ones or will they be full of physical suffering? The doctor says there will be no real suffering. He adds that he wants to put her on a few drugs. Golda tells the doctor that her condition must be kept strictly secret.

When Golda sees Lou she just tells her that it is a slight case of exhaustion. And she says that she is going to retire. Lou tells Golda that she would be bored to death if she retired. She says that Ben Gurion is retiring and Levi Eshkol will replace him. And Levil will certainly ask Golda to stay on. Golda says she will stay two years more. After those two years she resigned as foreign minister and was replaced by Aba Ibn.

Her retirement did not last long. From the Golan Heights Syria shelled Israel villages, like the spring 1967 attack on a kibbutz where a great many people died. And Levi Eshkol and Moshe Dayan call for Golda. They show her some of the casualties of the shelling. This upsets Golda who says: "Why did I ever see this?" The two men explain that they send for her because they wanted her to see how bad the situation is and ask her to come back to work.

In addition, Egypt is building up its forces. Nasser has ordered the UN out and they are leaving Egypt. They want Golda to lead the party. The party is splitting and as Secretary-General she could unite the party as nobody else. So Golda goes back to work.

Then the Six Day War begins. In the first three hours the Israelis had wiped out nearly the entire Egyptian air force. In three days they had taken the entire Sinai Peninsula. It was the 1956 campaign all over again but this time they also took the Golan Heights from Syria and the part of Palestine held by Jordan, including the old city section of Jerusalem. Now the Jews could visit the western wall of Solomonís temple.

Two years later, 1969, Golda is a private citizen again. When she gets on the bus to go home from shopping the bus driver drives her right to her apartment door. When she arrives home journalists jump out at her asking her what is she going to do? Golda asks them what are they talking about? She hasnít heard. Levi Eshkol has died.

Everyone now tells her that she is the only one who can unite the country. Golda says she came to live on a kibbutz and adds: "I donít want to be Prime Minister." She is seventy years old and gets selected by a vote of seventy to zero. Golda says she will work for a true and enduring peace.

In October President Richard Nixon of the United States invites her to visit him. The Israelis are very proud as they watch her in America via their television sets.

Back at home Golda becomes very sick. She telephones Lou to come and get her. Lou takes her to the hospital where the doctor say they have to begin the therapy that they had spoken about earlier. She will be receiving treatments twice a week. Golda goes down to the radiology section and Lou realizes for the first time that this is serious. And Golda is worried.

Senator Durward comes to visit Golda at her home. She has been warned that he is not very sympathetic to Israel. When he arrives, Golda has him sit in the living room, while she goes into the kitchen. After awhile, the senator asks a fellow in the living room what is Golda doing that takes so long? She is making coffee. Senator Durward is amazed that she doesnít have someone doing this for her. He goes into the kitchen to talk to her. She gives him coffee and some cake and then takes coffee out to her body guards.

Senator Durward tells Golda that they have the Star Fighter aircraft. But Golda is not interested in the Star Fighter. It is an unstable airplane. What she wants is the Phantom. And she doesnít want the Sheridan tank, but the M-60 tank. She tells the senator that he reminds her of President John F. Kennedy who promised that the USA would always save Israel. She told him that she just wants to make sure that by the time he keeps his commitment that the Israelis are still there.

Golda is worried about the military situation. There has been an Egyptian build-up 100,000 men and over 2,000 tanks. On the Egyptian side, the Israelis only have 8,500 men and 276 tanks. The situation is similar at the Syrian front. The military commanders assure Golda that the Syrians will not attack them. And Sadat is a cooler head than Nasser. She feels that they should call up the reserves, but everyone is against it. Everyone tells her, three days before Yom Kippur, there will be no war.

She still thinks of mobilizing the reserves, but it would cost millions of dollars and would cripple industry. And her cabinet decided unanimously that there should be no mobilization.

She gets a report that the Soviets have send transport planes to Syria to evacuate their people. That doesnít sound good. Golda is worried and goes to bed early. She gets a call on the eve of Yom Kippur, the most sacred of all the Jewish holidays. Army intelligence is saying there will be an attack this afternoon. Mobilization is called for.

Golda is mad at herself saying she should have went with her gut feeling and mobilized their forces yesterday. The next morning Golda talks with her military leaders. She is told that the air force could strike at noon. Golda says that would be a pre-emptive strike and if they did that, they could expect no help from anyone.

The attack is launched on Yom Kippur. The Syrians attack the Golan Heights and the Egyptian cross the Suez Canal. The first three days went badly. The Syrians broke through on the Golan Heights. Israel lost half of it fighter planes to Russian missiles.

Golda gets on the phone to her representative in the United States. She tells him that President Nixon promised Israel help if they needed it, and they need it today. She also tells him to call Kissinger to get him into action.

President Nixon came through for Israel. He sent C-5 Galaxies carrying tanks, rockets and medical supplies. Israel fighter planes were refueled in the air. The supplies arrived on the ninth day of the war.

Then Israel took the offensive. By the sixteenth day of the war they had almost taken all of the Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian Third Army was encircled. The Israelis also took back all of the Golan Heights and came within 25 miles of Damascus. Then the Russians called for a cease-fire. An armistice, arranged by the U.N., was signed.

But the mood in Israel was bleak and bitter. There were heavy Israelis casualties and quite a few P.O.W.s Golda and Moshe Dayan are confronted by a group of people who lost friends or family in the war. One asks why did Golda agreed to the cease-fire? She says that she had to give in to the desires of the USA. Another person calls both Golda and Moshe murderers. A woman says that she tells her children that Golda killed their father. Golda is very upset at the confrontation.

Golda tells her doctor that she has told her key people that she will be retiring. He congratulates her on being voted the woman most admired in America. She says that if she could do it all over again, she would have stayed on the kibbutz.

Back to the present. Milwaukee, 1977. The students ask if there ever will be peace in Israel? Golda says that they must believe there will be peace someday. She finishes and leaves the school.

Lou tells her that her friends and enemies want her to come home. Sadat is coming to Israel, thanks in part to Prime Minister Menachem Begin Golda says that if Sadat is talking peace, she would like to see someone just try and keep her away.

Golda attends a dinner in honor of President Sadat and the peace agreement. She gives a gift to Sadat for his granddaughter. Sadat publicly thanks Mrs. Meir for the kind gesture. Golda has to speak last. She is introduced as "the mother of Israel". She is very brief.

At the end of the dinner Sadat tells her: "Good night, dear lady." Golda tells him: "Iím glad you came. What took you so long?"

Golda Meir died November 8, 1978.

 

Good movie.  I felt the movie gave me a very good idea of Golda Meir and her motivations.  And the film covers her many good points and some of her few problems.  The film covers a lot of history in an entertaining way.  Bergman was indeed great as Golda Meir.   

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 


Historical Background:


1898  --  born Golda Mabovitz in Kiev, Russia.

1906  -- she and her family move to Milwaukee. She graduates from teachers' college and teaches in the public schools.

1915 --  she joins the Labor Zionist Party.

1917 -- she married Morris Meyerson.

1921  --  they settle in Kibbutz Merhavya (in then Palestine).

1924  -- they move to Tel Aviv (then Palestine).  Children: Sarah and Menachem. She becomes an official of the Histadrut Trade Union; serves as a manager with the union's construction corporation, Solel Boneh.

1932-1934 --  as secretary of the Hechalutz women's organization, she works as an emissary in the US.

1939  -- she attends the Zionist Congress in Geneva to help protect European Jews. She is disappointed with the attitude of many of the Europeans.

1946  -- the British imprison most of the Jewish senior leadership; Golda replaces Moshe Sharett as the chief Jewish liaison with the British. She becomes a very successful fundraiser in the US to help cover the costs of the Israeli War of Independence.

1948  -- she takes part in the People's Council signing the vital proclamation establishing the State of Israel.

1948 June --  becomes Israel's Ambassador to the Soviet Union.

1949  -- gets elected to the Knesset as a party member of Mapai (Israeli Workers Party) .

1949-1956  --  she serves as Minister of Labor.

1951  -- her husband dies.

1956-1965  --  she serves as the Foreign Minister for Israel.  She works with the cooperative agricultural and urban planning programs with Africa.

1956  --  she adopts the Hebrew name Meir (meaning "to burn brightly'').

1966-1968  --  when Mapai becomes part of the Israel Labor Party, she becomes Secretary General of the Mapai Party. Becomes the first Secretary≠General of the newly formed Labor Party.

1969  --  when Prime Minister Levi Eshkol dies, Meir (now 71 years old) becomes the prime minister.

1969  -- Labor Party nominates her to be Prime Minister of Israel. She wins.

1970  -- Egypt's Nasser dies. Anwar Sadat succeeds him.

1973 October 6 - start of the Yom Kippur War.  After the war, the Agranant Inquiry Commission finds that the government seriously underestimated Arab intentions.

1973  December  --  Labor Party wins the elections.

1974 June  -- since she could not get her cabinet to agree on policies, she resigns in favor of Yitzhak Rabin. 

1978  -- she dies.

 

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