Golda Meir Quotes

Golda Meir (1898-1978)

Golda Meir 1973
Golda Meir 1973. PhotoQuest / Getty Images

Golda Meir, born in Kiev, Russia, became the fourth prime minister of Israel. Golda Meir and her husband emigrated from the United States to Palestine, as Zionists. When Israel won independence, Golda Meir was the only woman appointed to the first cabinet. Golda Meir had retired from public life when she was called on to lead the Labor Party. Golda Meir became prime minister when the party prevailed, serving from1969 to 1974.

Selected Golda Meir Quotations

• At work, you think of the children you've left at home. At home, you think of the work you've left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself, your heart is rent.

• I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.

• We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon — no alternative. 1969

• The Egyptians could run to Egypt, the Syrians into Syria. The only place we could run was into the sea, and before we did that we might as well fight. 1969

• It is true we have won all our wars, but we have paid for them. We don't want victories anymore.

• Don't be so humble, you aren't that great.

• It’s no accident many accuse me of conducting public affairs with my heart instead of my head. Well, what if I do?

… Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either. 1973

• Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil! 1973

• We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children.

We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.

• To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don't be. 1974

• A leader who doesn't hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.

• I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively. 1977

• Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

• Don't be so humble, you aren't that great.

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About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis. This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Golda Meir Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/golda_meir.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)