Mrs. Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, will be 80?
Mrs. Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Israel, will be 80 years old next Wednesday (3rd May). Since he retirement from office four years ago, she has remained active in Israeli Labour Party politics, and in her role of elder stateswoman and grandmother-figure of the nation, and in her role of elder stateswoman and grandmother-figure of the nation, is an honoured guest at any important public occasion.
SYNOPSIS: This pugnacious, human, stocky woman is Russian-burn and American-educated. She and her husband first went to Palestine in 1921.
When she received Mr. Averell Harriman, United States Ambassador at large, in 1965, she was nearing the end of ten years as Foreign Minister. Earlier, she had been Israel's first Ambassador in Moscow, and then Minister of Labour.
In 1969, President, Shazar asked her to form a government. She was 70, and had been three years out of office. But she accepted the call, and her five-year premiership included the searing experience of the 1973 October war.
When it was over , Mrs. Meir was at Tel Aviv airport to welcome home prisoners of war from Egypt. She and Moshe Dayan, her Defence Minister, bore the brunt of Israeli the country unprepared. But no-one blamed her more harshly than she blamed herself.
She wrote later that she had failed to make one vital decision -- to order a call-up early enough -- because she did not quite believe that Egypt and Syria would go to war.
The strain of war, and the political recriminations that followed, exhausted and disillusioned Mrs. Meir, who was by then, 75. After seeing her country through the first disengagement agreements with Egypt and Syria, negotiated by Dr. Henry Kissinger, the United States Secretary of State, she decided to retire.
During a private visit to the United States Last November President Carter invited her to "drop in" to discuss Middle East problems. Her comments on his Palestinian homeland proposals showed she had lost nothing of her capacity for outspoken criticism:
Mrs. Meir was as ready as the present Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Menachem Begin, to Welcome President Sadat of Egypt on his historic visit to Jerusalem; and, characteristically, she recalled that his daughter had just given Sadat a new grandchild: