Golda's Balcony

King Abdullah (1882-1951), the son of a Bedouin, worked closely with the British government, who appointed him Emir of Transjordan in 1922. A relative moderate regarding Zionism, he negotiated with Golda Meir in 1947 and 1948. In 1951, he was assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist.

David Ben-Gurion (1886-1973),
a Zionist pioneer and Israel’s first Prime Minister (1948-1963), turned the Histadrut from a trade union into a political and social institution; from it he formed the Israeli government in 1948. He was a key figure in Israeli politics until his death.

Moshe Dayan (1915-1977)
lost his eye on a mission behind Axis lines during WWII. In the 1950s and ’60s, Dayan directed most of Israel’s military successes. He resigned from the post of Defense Minister in 1974, following criticism for his too-cautious preparations before the Yom Kippur War.

David “Dado” Elazar (1925-1976)
fled to Palestine from the Nazis in 1940. One of the country’s greatest generals, Dado captured the Golan Heights in the Six Day War of 1967. As Meir’s Army Chief of Staff, he oversaw the Yom Kippur War effort, and resigned his position because of the heavy losses.

Simcha Dinitz (1930- ), an expert in foreign affairs, worked with Meir through the 1960s before she appointed him Ambassador to the United States in 1973. He remained in this post until 1978, when he was integral to the peace agreement formed between Israel and Egypt at Camp David.

Lou Kaddar was Golda Meir’s personal attaché when she joined the Israeli diplomatic corps to the Soviet Union. Her fluency in French proved invaluable on Golda’s diplomatic assignments. Although she retired in the early 1960s, she returned to her duties when Golda became Prime Minister.

Henry Kissinger (1923- )
, an expert in foreign policy and U.S. Secretary of State (1973-1977), helped to define the tone of Nixon’s presidency. His brokerage of the peaceful withdrawal of armies after the Yom Kippur War established a forum for the Israeli-Egyptian peace of the late ’70s.

Pope Paul VI (1897-1978), met with Golda Meir in January, 1973 to discuss peace efforts in the Middle East, and chastized her for her country’s “fierceness.” During his papacy, the Vatican favored a special international status for Jerusalem and Israeli holy places.
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