All Time Famous Golda Meir Quotes

Golda Meir Quotes

Golda Meir (3 May 1898 – 8 December 1978) was an Israeli politician who served as the fourth prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. She was Israel’s first and only female head of government and the first female head of government in the Middle East.

Born in Ukraine, Golda Meir immigrated to the US and then Palestine, becoming a leader in the Zionist movement and kibbutz life. She signed Israel’s Declaration of Independence and held key government positions, including Foreign Minister. As Prime Minister (1969-1974), she faced both diplomatic triumphs and the devastating Yom Kippur War, leading to her resignation amidst controversy. Though a revered figure for her contributions to Israel, her handling of the war and attitude towards Palestinians remain debated.

Golda Meir Quotes

1. “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
— Golda Meir

2. “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.”
— Golda Meir

3. “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

4. “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

5. “To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you won’t be.”
— Golda Meir

6. “Don’t be so humble – you are not that great.”
— Golda Meir

7. “We can forgive you for killing our children, but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children.”
— Golda Meir

8. “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”
— Golda Meir

9. “There will be peace in the Middle East only when the Arabs love their children more than they hate Israel.”
— Golda Meir

10. “Whether women are better than men I cannot say – but I can say they are certainly no worse.”
— Golda Meir

11. “There is no such thing as a Palestinian.”
— Golda Meir

12. “The world hates a Jew who hits back. The world loves us only when we are to be pitied.”
— Golda Meir

13. “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.”
— Golda Meir

14. “Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself.”
— Golda Meir

15. “Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart, don’t know how to laugh either.”
— Golda Meir

16. “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

17. “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

18. “You can’t improve on saying nothing.”
— Golda Meir

19. “We Jews have a secret weapon in our struggle with the Arabs; we have no place to go.”
— Golda Meir

20. “The only way to eliminate war is to love our children more than we hate our enemies.”
— Golda Meir

21. “You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.”
— Golda Meir

22. “Those that perished in Hitler’s gas chambers were the last Jews to die without standing up to defend themselves.”
— Golda Meir

23. “The dog that trots about finds a bone.”
— Golda Meir

24. “It isn’t enough to believe in something; you have to have the stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them, to struggle.”
— Golda Meir

25. “Arab sovereignty in Jerusalem just cannot be. This city will not be divided half and half, not 60-40, not 75-25, nothing.”
— Golda Meir

26. “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

27. “Moses dragged us through the desert to the one place in the Middle East where there is no oil.”
— Golda Meir

28. “Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short.”
— Golda Meir

29. “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

30. “Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values.”
— Golda Meir

31. “Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”
— Golda Meir

32. “The only alternative to war is peace and the only road to peace is negotiations.”
— Golda Meir

33. “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

34. “We don’t thrive on military acts. We do them because we have to, and thank God we are efficient.”
— Golda Meir

35. “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

36. “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

37. “Zionism and pessimism are not compatible.”
— Golda Meir

38. “Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.”
— Golda Meir

39. “We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel.”
— Golda Meir

40. “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

41. “It is always much easier, I have discovered, to make people cry or gasp than to make them think.”
— Golda Meir

42. “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

43. “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

44. “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

45. “We don’t want wars even when we win.”
— Golda Meir

46. “You can get used to anything if you have to, even feeling perpetually guilty.”
— Golda Meir

47. “I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively.”
— Golda Meir

48. “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

49. “A leader who doesn’t hesitate before he sends his nation into battle is not fit to be a leader.”
— Golda Meir

50. “Israel itself is the strongest guarantee against another Holocaust.”
— Golda Meir

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