Golda Meir, Israel's leader through the country's most bitter war, was buried on a chilly mountain-top on tuesday (12 December 1978).
Golda Meir, Israel's leader through the country's most bitter war, was buried on a chilly mountain-top on tuesday (12 December 1978). None of the customary funeral eulogies were delivered at the graveside or during the burial service - a break with tradition that followed Mrs Meir's own request.
SYNOPSIS: Six generals and two high-ranking police officials carried the body of the former Prime Minister to the grave on Mount Herzl, just outside Jerusalem.
The list of mourners was impressive. Israeli Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan, and former American Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, stood at the graveside. Nearby was Dr. Kissinger's successor Mr. Cyrus Vance and Israel's Opposition Leader Mr. Yitzak Rabin.
The only voices heard at the burial were those of two army Rabbis who intoned a funeral chant while a young Israeli actress read some lines from Mrs Meir's speeches. Her musician son, Menacham, read prayers. Women soldiers were among those who laid wreaths at the grave next to the tomb of Levi Eshkol, another former Prime Minister.
Mrs Lillian Carter, mother of the American President braved the pouring rain to be at the graveside, as Dr. Kissinger walked past. The farmer Secretary of State has spent many months with Mrs Meir in the quest for peace in the Middle East.
Her old colleagues in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, also paid their last respects. Mr. Cyrus Vance came to the funeral in the middle of a peace mission more advanced than anything achieved under Mrs Meir's leadership. Immediately after the ceremony he flew back to Cairo to continue his attempt to smooth out the last obstacles to a lasting Israeli-Egyptian treaty.