98+ Best Golda Meir Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Golda Meir was an Israeli teacher, kibbutznik, stateswoman, and politician. She was an Israeli politician who helped found the State of Israel and later served as its fourth prime minister. Meir was the first woman to hold the post. Inspirational Golda Meir quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

If you’re searching for life quotes and sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Mao Zedong quotes, Queen Victoria quotes, and powerful Margaret Thatcher quotes.

Most Famous Golda Meir Quotes

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

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

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

How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to. – Golda Meir

Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises with its own values. – Golda Meir

One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present. – Golda Meir

Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either. – Golda Meir

Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses. He took us forty years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil! – Golda Meir

Whether women are better than men I cannot say … but i can say they are certainly no worse. – Golda Meir

To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don’t be. – Golda Meir

Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard there’s nothing you can do. – Golda Meir

Fashion is an imposition, a rein on freedom. – Golda Meir

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

There is no Zionism except the rescue of Jews. – Golda Meir

Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great. – Golda Meir

It is true we have won all our wars, but we have paid for them. – Golda Meir

Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. – Golda Meir

The Soviet government is the most realistic regime in the world – no ideals. – Golda Meir

We say peace and the echo comes back from the other side, war. We dont want wars even when we win. – 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

Men are committing the rapes. Let them be put under curfew. – Golda Meir

Anyone who speaks in favor of bringing the Arab refugees back must also say how he expects to take the responsibility for it, if he is interested in the state of Israel. It is better that things are stated clearly and plainly: We shall not let this happen. – 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

To be successful, a woman has to be much better at her job than a man. – 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

We can forgive you for killing our children, but we can never forgive you for making us kill your children. – Golda Meir

I have always felt sorry for people afraid of feeling, of sentimentality, who are unable to weep with their whole heart. Because those who do not know how to weep do not know how to laugh either. – Golda Meir

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

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

the modern woman asks herself: Is there something wrong with me if my children don’t fill up my life? – Golda Meir

If only political leaders would allow themselves to feel, as well as to think, the world might be a happier place. – Golda Meir

I have given instructions that I be informed everytime one of our soldiers is killed, even if it is in themiddle of the night. When President Nasser leavesinstructions that he is to be awakened in the middleof the night if an Egyptian soldier is killed, there willbe peace. – Golda Meir

There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed. – Golda Meir

I never did anything alone. Whatever was accomplished in this country was accomplished collectively. – Golda Meir

The dog that trots about finds a bone. – Golda Meir

We don’t want wars even when we win. – Golda Meir

We don’t thrive on military acts. We do them because we have to and thank God we are efficient. – Golda Meir

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

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

The only alternative to war is peace and the only road to peace is negotiations. – Golda Meir

Pessimism is a luxury that a Jew can never allow himself. – Golda Meir

Zionism and pessimism are not compatible. – Golda Meir

You can’t improve on saying nothing. – 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

Israel itself is the strongest guarantee against another Holocaust. – Golda Meir

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

America is a great country. It has many shortcomings, many social inequalities, and it’s tragic that the problem of the blacks wasn’t solved fifty or even a hundred years ago, but it’s still a great country, a country full of opportunities, of freedom! Does it seem nothing to you to be able to say what you like, even against the government, the Establishment? – Golda Meir

To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don’t be. – Golda Meir

You can get used to anything if you have to, even feeling perpetually guilty. – 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

We do not rejoice in victories. We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel. – 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

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

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

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

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

There is no such thing as a Palestinian people… It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist. – 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

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

The only way to eliminate war is to love our children more than we hate our enemies. – Golda Meir

It isn’t really important to decide when you are very young just exactly what you want to become when you grow up. It is much more important to decide on the way you want to live. If you are going to be honest with yourself and honest with your friends, if you are going to get involved in causes which are good for others, not only for yourselves, then it seems to me that that is sufficient, and maybe what you will be is only a matter of chance. – Golda Meir

We Jews have a secret weapon in our struggle with the Arabs; we have no place to go. – 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

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

It isnt enough to believe in something; you have to have the stamina to meet obstacles and overcome them, to struggle. – 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

Those that perished in Hitler’s gas chambers were the last Jews to die without standing up to defend themselves. – 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

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

You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity. – 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

One of the first sights that shocked me, when I came to Israel in 1921, was an Arab turning over a field with a very primitive plow; pulling the plow were an ox and a woman. Now, if it means that we have destroyed this romantic picture by bringing in tractors, combines, and threshing machines, this is true: we have. – Golda Meir

A story once went the rounds of Israel to the effect that Ben-Gurion described me as ‘the only man’ in his cabinet. What amused me about is that he (or whoever invented the story) thought that this was the greatest compliment that could be paid to a woman. I very much doubt that any man would have been flattered if I had said about him that he was the only woman in the government! – Golda Meir

We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon – no alternative. – Golda Meir

Glorious bouquets and storms of applause are the trimmings which every artist naturally enjoys. – 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

The public history of modern art is the story of conventional people not knowing what they are dealing with. – Golda Meir

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

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

It’s no accident many accuse me of conducting public affairs with my heart instead of my head. Well, what if I do? Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either. – 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

My delegation cannot refrain from speaking on this question-we who have such an intimate knowledge of boxcars and of deportations to unknown destinations that we cannot be silent. – Golda Meir

We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us – Golda Meir

It’s not an obsession, it’s a devotion. My promise to her is to do this to the best of my ability. I told her, ‘I will take care of you, I will honor you.’ – Golda Meir

It is a dreadful thing to see the dead city. Next to the port I found children, women, the old, waiting for a way to leave. I entered the houses, there were houses where the coffee and pita bread were left on the table, and I could not avoid [thinking] that this, indeed, had been the picture in many Jewish towns [i.e., in Europe, during World War II]’. – Golda Meir

It is not a sin to be seventy but it is also no joke. – Golda Meir

The deserts of the Middle East are in need of water, not bombers. – Golda Meir

How can I explain the difference to me between America and Russia?… the America I’ve known is a place where men on horseback escort union marchers, the Russia I’ve known is a place where men on horseback slaughter young Socialists and Jews. – Golda Meir

Being seventy is not a sin. It’s not a joy, either. – Golda Meir

How does it feel to be a woman minister? I don’t know; I’ve never been a man minister. – Golda Meir

Can we today measure devotion to husband and children by our indifference to everything else? – Golda Meir

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

From Russia I didn’t bring out a single happy memory, only sad, tragic ones. The nightmare of pogroms, the brutality of Cossacks charging young Socialists, fear, shrieks of terror … – Golda Meir

I’m a slave to this leaf in a diary that lists what I must do, what I must say, every half hour. – Golda Meir

It is not only a matter, I believe, of religious observance and practice. To me, being Jewish means and has always meant being proud to be part of a people that has maintained its distinct identity for more than 2,000 years, with all the pain and torment that has been inflicted upon it – Golda Meir

The man of the Cross, who heads the church whose symbol is the Cross, under which Jews were killed for generations. I could not escape the feeling. It stuck with me. And he felt it-that a Jewess was sitting opposite him. – Golda Meir

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