Golda Meir, originally Goldie Mabovitch and later Goldie Myerson, was born on May 3, 1898, in Kiev, Ukraine.
She became a pivotal Israeli politician, co-founding the State of Israel in 1948 and becoming its fourth prime minister (1969–74) — the first woman in this role.
Moving from Kiev to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1906, she later immigrated to Palestine in 1921.
As a prominent figure in the Zionist movement, she replaced Moshe Sharett in 1946, advocating for detained Jewish activists.
Meir signed Israel’s independence declaration in 1948, subsequently taking various governmental roles, including minister of labor and foreign minister.
After becoming prime minister in 1969, she sought Middle East peace through diplomacy.
The 1973 Yom Kippur War challenged her leadership, leading to her resignation in 1974. Meir, who secretly battled leukemia for 12 years, passed away in 1978.
Her autobiography, “My Life,” was released in 1975.
I have listed below the top quotes by Golda Meir.
Best Golda Meir Quotes
To be successful, a woman has to be much better at her job than a man. ~ Golda Meir.
Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short. ~ Golda Meir.
Women’s Liberation is just a lot of foolishness. ~ Golda Meir.
Fashion is an imposition, a reign on freedom. ~ Golda Meir.
Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself. ~ Golda Meir.
Being seventy is not a sin. It’s not a joy, either. ~ Golda Meir.
Not being beautiful was the true blessing. Not being beautiful forced me to develop my inner resources. The pretty girl has a handicap to overcome. ~ Golda Meir.
It isn’t enough to believe in something; you have to have the stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them, to struggle. ~ Golda Meir.
The only alternative to war is peace and the only road to peace is negotiations. ~ Golda Meir.
Come to think of it, I am more than a little tired of hearing about how the Jews ‘stole’ land from Arabs in Palestine. The facts are quite different. A lot of good money changed hands, and a lot of Arabs became very rich indeed. ~ Golda Meir.
The only way to eliminate war is to love our children more than we hate our enemies. ~ Golda Meir.
I must govern the clock, not be governed by it. ~ Golda Meir.
Famous Golda Meir Quotes
The Soviet government is the most realistic regime in the world – no ideals. ~ Golda Meir.
I don’t want to have a bad influence on anybody, but there’s no point in my giving up cigarettes now. I won’t die young. ~ Golda Meir.
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. Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us. ~ Golda Meir.
Show me a sensible person who likes himself or herself! I know myself too well to like what I see. I know but too well that I’m not what I’d like to be. ~ Golda Meir.
Authority poisons everybody who takes authority on himself. ~ Golda Meir.
There is no Zionism except the rescue of Jews. ~ Golda Meir.
We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel. ~ 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.
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.
It is not a sin to be seventy but it is also no joke. ~ Golda Meir.
You can get used to anything if you have to, even feeling perpetually guilty. ~ Golda Meir.
Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart, don’t know how to laugh either. ~ Golda Meir.
Top Golda Meir Quotes
I don’t know why you use a fancy French word like detente when there’s a good English phrase for it – cold war. ~ Golda Meir.
The world hates a Jew who hits back. The world loves us only when we are to be pitied. ~ Golda Meir.
It is true we have won all our wars, but we have paid for them. We don’t want victories anymore. ~ Golda Meir.
Arab sovereignty in Jerusalem just cannot be. This city will not be divided-not half and half, not 60-40, not 75-25, nothing. ~ Golda Meir.
It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived. ~ Golda Meir.
One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present. ~ Golda Meir.
How does it feel to be a woman minister? I don’t know; I’ve never been a man minister. ~ Golda Meir.
I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively. ~ Golda Meir.
Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values. ~ Golda Meir.
Anybody who believes in something without reservation believes that this thing is right and should be, has the stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them. ~ Golda Meir.
Glorious bouquets and storms of applause are the trimmings which every artist naturally enjoys. ~ Golda Meir.
Popular Golda Meir Quotes
If only political leaders would allow themselves to feel, as well as to think, the world might be a happier place. ~ Golda Meir.
There will be peace in the Middle East only when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel. ~ Golda Meir.
There can be no doubt that the average man blames much more than he praises. His instinct is to blame. If he is satisfied he says nothing; if he is not, he most illogically kicks up a row. ~ Golda Meir.
You can’t improve on saying nothing. ~ Golda Meir.
We Jews have a secret weapon in our struggle with the Arabs; we have no place to go. ~ Golda Meir.
Moses dragged us through the desert to the one place in the Middle East where there is no oil. ~ Golda Meir.
There is only one thing I hope to see before I die, and that is that my people should not need expressions of sympathy anymore. ~ Golda Meir.
It is always much easier, I have discovered, to make people cry or gasp than to make them think. ~ Golda Meir.
At work, you think of the children you have 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.
This country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy. ~ Golda Meir.
Don’t be so humble – you are not that great. ~ Golda Meir.
Great Golda Meir Quotes
A leader who doesn’t hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader. ~ Golda Meir.
We only want that which is given naturally to all peoples of the world, to be masters of our own fate, not of others, and in cooperation and friendship with others. ~ Golda Meir.
Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. ~ Golda Meir.
We don’t thrive on military acts. We do them because we have to, and thank God we are efficient. ~ Golda Meir.
Men who have reached and passed forty-five, have a look as if waiting for the secret of the other world, and as if they were perfectly sure of having found out the secret of this. ~ 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.
Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either. ~ Golda Meir.
You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity. ~ Golda Meir.
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.
If we have to have a choice between being dead and pitied, and being alive with a bad image, we’d rather be alive and have the bad image. ~ Golda Meir.
Powerful Golda Meir Quotes
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.
The dog that trots about finds a bone. ~ Golda Meir.
Israel itself is the strongest guarantee against another Holocaust. ~ Golda Meir.
Whether women are better than men I cannot say – but I can say they are certainly no worse. ~ Golda Meir.
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.
Women’s liberation is just a lot of foolishness. It’s men who are discriminated against. They can’t bear children. And no one is likely to do anything about that. ~ Golda Meir.
We can forgive you for killing our children, but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children. ~ Golda Meir.
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.
My dear, old age is like an airplane flying in a storm. Once you’re in it there’s nothing you can do. You can’t stop a plane, you can’t stop a storm, you can’t stop time. So you might as well take it easy, with wisdom. ~ Golda Meir.
The public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with. ~ Golda Meir.
Inspiring Golda Meir Quotes
Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do. ~ Golda Meir.
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.
How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to. ~ Golda Meir.
To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don’t be. ~ Golda Meir.
Those that perished in Hitler’s gas chambers were the last Jews to die without standing up to defend themselves. ~ Golda Meir.
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! ~ Golda Meir.
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. ~ Golda Meir.
Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. ~ Golda Meir.
There’s no difference between killing and making decisions by which you send others to kill. It’s exactly the same thing. And maybe it’s worse. ~ Golda Meir.
There is no such thing as a Palestinian. ~ Golda Meir.
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. ~ Golda Meir.
Being seventy is no sin, but it’s not a joke either. ~ Golda Meir.
So these were the 83 top Golda Meir quotes and sayings on life, war and adversity.