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Golda Meir

  • ... the modern woman asks herself: Is there something wrong with me if my children don't fill up my life?

    • Golda Meir,
    • in The Plough Woman ()
  • Can we today measure devotion to husband and children by our indifference to everything else?

    • Golda Meir,
    • in The Plough Woman ()
  • We have not the slightest doubt that eventually there will be peace and cooperation between us. This is a historic necessity for both peoples.

    • Golda Meir,
    • "A Solemn Appeal to the Arabs," address to the United Nations General Assembly ()
  • The deserts of the Middle East are in need of water, not bombers.

    • Golda Meir,
    • "A Solemn Appeal to the Arabs," address to the United Nations General Assembly ()
  • 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.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Marie Syrkin, Golda Meir: Woman With a Cause ()
  • We have always said that in our wars with the Arabs we had a secret weapon — no alternative.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Life ()
  • It is true that we have won all our wars, but we have paid for them. We don't want victories anymore.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Life ()
  • How does it feel to be a woman minister? I don't know; I've never been a man minister.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in The New York Post ()
  • A leader who doesn't hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Israel and Mary Shenker, eds., As Good as Golda ()
  • Don't be so humble — you're not that great.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Israel and Mary Shenker, eds., As Good as Golda ()
  • You can't improve on saying nothing.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Israel and Mary Shenker, eds., As Good as Golda ()
  • We intend to remain alive. Our neighbors want to see us dead. This is not a question that leaves much room for compromise.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Israel and Mary Shenker, eds., As Good as Golda ()
  • We don't want wars even when we win.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Israel and Mary Shenker, eds., As Good as Golda ()
  • We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Israel and Mary Shenker, eds., As Good as Golda ()
  • Women's Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It's the men who are discriminated against. They can't bear children. And no one's likely to do anything about that.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Newsweek ()
  • Zionism and pessimism are not compatible.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Marie Syrkin, ed., A Land of Our Own ()
  • But the individual was not a tool for something. He was the maker of tools. He was the one who must build. Even for the best purpose it is criminal to turn an individual into simply a means for some ultimate end. A society in which the dignity of the individual is destroyed cannot hope to be a decent society.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Marie Syrkin, ed., A Land of Our Own ()
  • When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.

    • Golda Meir,
    • 1969, in Marie Syrkin, ed., A Land of Our Own ()
  • Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us forty years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!

    • Golda Meir,
    • in The New York Times ()
  • ... to be successful, a woman has to be much better at her job than a man.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Oriana Fallaci, L'Europeo ()
  • 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.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Oriana Fallaci, L'Europeo ()
  • ... those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Oriana Fallaci, L'Europeo ()
  • I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Oriana Fallaci, L'Europeo ()
  • ... old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you're aboard, there's nothing you can do.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Oriana Fallaci, L'Europeo ()
  • ... there's no difference between one's killing and making decisions that will send others to kill. It's exactly the same thing, or even worse.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Oriana Fallaci, L'Europeo ()
  • I want to say to you, friends, that the Jewish community in Palestine is going to fight to the very end. If we have arms to fight with, we will fight with those, and if not, we will fight with stones in our hands.

    • Golda Meir,
    • 1948, A Land of Our Own ()
  • To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don't be.

    • Golda Meir,
    • speech ()
  • Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in The Observer ()
  • Once in a Cabinet we had to deal with the fact that there had been an outbreak of assaults on women at night. One minister suggested a curfew; women should stay home after dark. I said, 'But it's the men who are attacking the women. If there's to be a curfew, let the men stay home, not the women.'

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Andrea Medea and Kathleen Thompson, Against Rape ()
  • ... only here could Jews live as of right, rather than sufferance, and only here Jews could be masters, not victims, of their fate.

  • ... Israel itself is the strongest guarantee against another Holocaust.

  • It is always much easier, I have discovered, to make people cry or gasp than to make them think.

  • It is not a sin to be seventy but it is also no joke.

  • [Upon resigning:] I have had enough.

  • Don't become cynical. Don't give up hope. Don't believe that everything is judged only by expediency. There is idealism in this world. There is human brotherhood.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Special People ()
  • As President Nixon says, presidents can do almost anything, and President Nixon has done many things that nobody would have thought of doing.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Richard Milhous Nixon, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, vol. 2 ()
  • The only alternative to war is peace and the only road to peace is negotiations.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Claire Price-Groff, Twentieth Century Women Political Leaders ()
  • The world hates a Jew who hits back. The world loves us only when we are to be pitied.

    • Golda Meir,
    • in Kristen Golden and Barbara Findlen, Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century ()
  • Whether women are better than men I cannot say — but I can say they are certainly no worse.

    • Golda Meir
  • Above all this country is our own. Nobody has to get up in the morning and worry what his neighbors think of him. Being a Jew is no problem here.

    • Golda Meir
  • Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short.

    • Golda Meir
  • By the way, did you ever realize that if Moses would have turned right instead of left, we'd have had the oil, the Arabs would have had the sand?

    • Golda Meir
  • I'm sure that someday children in schools will study the history of the men who made war as you study an absurdity. They'll be shocked, just as today we're shocked with cannibalism.

    • Golda Meir
  • You'll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.

    • Golda Meir

Golda Meir, Russian-born Israeli prime minister, politician

(1898 - 1978)

Born: Golda Mabovitch. Known for a time as Golda Meyerson.