The Tough Old Lady
May 3, 2006 7:23 PM   Subscribe

“Even if one is not at all in agreement with her, with her politics, her ideology, one cannot help but respect her, admire her, even love her.”* Golda Meir, a key founder and later Prime Minister of Israel, was born on this day in Kiev in 1898. She was famously quotable (though one of her more famous quotes was actually more of a misquote). The University of Wisconsin fascinating set of photos of her life, from her youth to her old age.
posted by blahblahblah (8 comments total)
yeah, she's awesome. But her best quote must be:
"There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist."
posted by undule at 7:32 PM on May 3, 2006

here're some more :P

mazel tov!
posted by kliuless at 7:36 PM on May 3, 2006

As stated in the FPP, Meir later claimed (true or not) that she was misquoted, and what she said was, "There is no Palestinian people. There are Palestinian refugees." That seems to be the actual sentiment of the full quote which undule only partially cited, which appeared in the 1969 Sunday Times:

Q: Do you think the emergence of the Palestinian fighting forces, the Fedayeen, is an important new factor in the Middle East?

Golda Meir: Important, no. A new factor, yes. There was no such a thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian State? It was either southern Syria before the First World War and than it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.

The context makes the quote a bit less outrageous, but Meir was undoubtably against Palestinian statehood. Instead she tried to work out a deal with Jordan to give it some sort of control over the West Bank in the 1970s.

And all of this is why I started with the quote from Oriana Fallaci -- you don't have to agree with her politics to find her an interesting figure, and many other people, like the relatively anti-Israeli Fallaci stated.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:58 PM on May 3, 2006

FYI: It's actually The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee that has the Golda Meir info. The University of Wisconsin is in Madison. Golda Meir went to college in Milwaukee at the building I'm in right now.
posted by drezdn at 8:01 PM on May 3, 2006

The woman that led Israel into the nukyular age!
posted by melt away at 4:26 AM on May 4, 2006

That misquote is certainly what she'll be famous for.

But I don't see what the problem is. A "people" only rallies around, and becomes a people (i.e., gains an identity) when it has a reason to do so. The Palestinian people's reason was the creation of the state of Israel (1948). Many of the Palestinians today are Jordanian (west bank cities like Nabulus and Bethlehem) or Egyptian (Gaza). There was never any need for them to define themselves against the background of the rest of the Arabs in the region until then.
posted by zpousman at 5:43 AM on May 4, 2006

My sexist and anti-Semetic father loved Golda Meir, and held her up as an example to me. After all, not all teachers go on to lead nations!

My father was also a teacher, of course. And I still admire Golda Meir.
posted by QIbHom at 12:39 PM on May 4, 2006

Anyone else think Golda Meir was kinda hot in her youth?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:34 PM on May 4, 2006

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