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February 03, 1984 - Image 69

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-02-03

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Friday, February 3, 1984 69

An Interview With Menahem Meir: Remembering Golda


the '40's.
After her word's on the
What prompted you to oriental communities were
write the book "My distorted by the press, my
Mother, Golda Meir"? mother was instantly
Your family is known as branded "a racist."
one that always shunned
People today have for-
publicity and "confes- gotten that it was my
sions" relating to its pri- mother who had fought
vate life.
all her life to bring these
This is true. But about fellow-Jews to Israel and
two years ago I was invited t o better their living con-
by the American TV net- ditions. Not many tend to
work ABC to participate in r emember today that it
a program about legendary was mother who set up
people which included my t he Ministerial Commit-
mother. After the show I t ee for Social Betterment
was approached by the New a fter the Black Panthers'
York publishers and asked d emonstrations so as to
to do a book on my mother. s tudy and draw conclu-
After some deliberations, I s ions on the issue of de- should not shirk responsi-
bility when times are dif-
rived youth and pave ficult.
You are very reticent in t he way to reforms. In so-
Can it be deducted that
your book when it comes c ial services, education
to handling more inti- a nd housing, these she did not have much
mate details in the life of c hanges are now in exist- sympathy for others not
your mother, those who e nce in Israel because of mentioned above?
Not exactly. She had a
she kept to her self in her t hese efforts.
relationship with Yit-
lifetime. Why?
How did mother feel
This had been my a fter the Yom Kippur zhak Rabin and in later
got closer to Shimon
mother's wish and I respect W ar? Did she talk to you years
it. There are many things a bout it? Did she criticize
And Golda the woman,
concerning leading figures h er advisers? Did she
mother, was she
in Israel's political life b lame anyone? The Chief
which I know but I am not o f Staff? The Minister of really the perfect woman
you describe in your
ready to reveal. Some of D efense?
book? She never got an-
these people are still living.
Mother was haunted by
Why should I embarrass t he events of the Yom Kip- gry? She never shouted at
her children?
ur War. She blamed her-
She did . . . Like any other
Your mother's rela- s elf unjustly (as it appears human
tionship with your father i n her autobiography) for
she really such a
and their separation is a h aving hesitated in calling
thing which puzzled th e reserves one day earlier. wonderful homemaker
and good housewife?
many of her biographers
n Friday morning, she
She was a perfect house-
as well as the public at said, she should have 1
large. Neither your tened to the warnings of h is- wife. I think she liked doing
mother nor your father own heart and ordered er things in the house such as
remarried after their call-up. But this is she a cleaning and cooking. It re-
er laxed her and gave her time
separation. Though here nonsense. She had nothi ng
to think. She was also an ex-
and there rumors about to blame herself for.
cellent cook and made her
"romance" in the life of
On the eve of the war s
your mother popped up, held an emergency meeti he Friday ballot (bred) even
after she retired from her
her behavior never bet- in Tel Aviv at which ni ng
as Prime Minister. She
rayed that any such ties ministers were presen job
t. often wrote down recipes on
really existed. Is it possi- (The late Moshe) Daya n
ble that your mother con- exuded confidence in I 5 a chit of paper as other
tinued to love your father rael's fortifications, plan _ women do at parties. She
throughout her lifetime? and military men. Th es excelled in traditional
e Jewish cooking and did not
Yes. I am convinced that Ch ief of Staff, the Intelli- venture into more exotic
mother never stopped lov- ge nce Service and all her
"cuisines," as is the fashion
ing father. It was in my ex pert advisers opposed an today.
mother's apartment that ea rly call-up and a pre-
Was her family impor-
my father died. em ptive strike of our army
tant to her?
During her lifetime, ag ainst the enemy.
There was not one single
particularly after the
Yom Kippur War, your to What was mother's atti- Friday she did not spend
mother was not liked by to de towards Dayan la- with us. I think she drew
her strength, both spiritu-
some people here in the
country. How do you ex- b y Mother was very pained ally and physically, from
the situation of neglect her family: the children, her
plain this?
as revealed after the sisters and even more dis-
I sometimes doubt if it
en emy attacked — in the tant relatives.
had been worthwhile for ar
What efforts were
mother to dedicate herself be my, which had always
en her greatest pride.
made by your mother to
so entirely and labor so hard
Why didn't she ask come to terms with
for the country, while re-
Egypt's Sadat?
ceiving so little recognition Da yan to resign?
Mother would have liked
Before the Yom Kippur
as we see today . . . After she
Da yan to resign but she ex- War when mother was
became Prime Minister, she
pec ted the move to come prime minister, let us not
was to be accused of bigotry
fro m the Party.
forget that Sadat repeatedly
and discrimination by
Was she afraid, as she declared that "lands which
members of Israel's oriental
ha d been in the past, of a had been taken by force will
community in spite of all
she accomplished for this spl it in the Labor Party? be taken back by force" and
peace will come only in the
community while serving in
Who were the people next generation.
the Labor Ministry.
sh e liked best in her
In spite of interventions
A few days after a violent Ca binet? Who were her
on behalf of certain Euro-
demonstration of the Black clo sest friends?
pean heads of state to bring
Panthers accompanied by
he liked Yisraeli Galilik
hurling of stones and a Cha im Givati, Zeev Sherf, a meeting between mother
Molotov cocktail at the Cha im Bar-Lev and the late and Sadat, and mother's
police, mother addressed a yig al Allon. She admired willingness to negotiate for
meeting of North African Fin ante Minister Pinchas peace, no such meeting was
Jews. She condemned this Sap it in all that concerned made possible because of
violence, motivated by the eco nomy. She was angry at Sadat's negative attitude,
same abhorrence of indis- the then Minister of Justice an attitude which changed
criminate force that, among y a p akov Shimshon Shapira later — not for love of the
other things, had led her whe n he left the govern- Likud government — but
into conflict with the IZL men t while the fighting was due to the fact that he
and the Stern group back in still on. She thought one realized that no territories
could be taken back by

World Zionist Press Service

This realization shar-
pened in his mind particu-
larly after our final victory
over the Egyptians in the
Yom Kippur War. True,
mother had a principle from
which she was not willing to
budge: That peace had to be
based on secure borders.
President Nixon in 1973
that Israel was ready to rec-
ognize Egyptian sover-
eignty over the whole Sinai
Peninsula on condition that
Egypt agree to a limited Is-
raeli military presence at a
number of strategic loca-
tions there. She wanted
peace more than anything
else. But no pre-conditions
from Sadat before a meeting
would take place.
How did mother feel
about the situation in the

country in the last years
of her life?
She talked a lot about the
situation. Even in her last
month of life at the hospital
she talked with great sor-
row about how history is
being restyled. She was
pained at the economic
situation and she clearly
foresaw the situation as it is
today in 1983. She also ex-
pressed her desire, while in
the hospital, that a well
documented treatise on the
period starting in 1969 to
1974, the years of her pre-
miership, should be written
in order to bring to light all
efforts made by her and her
government to achieve
peace with Egypt and other
Arab countries.
Such a book did indeed
appear several months ago:
It is written by Mordechai

Gazit who worked with
mother in the Foreign
Ministry and was head of
the prime minister's office
during the Yom Kippur
War and later was ambas-
sador of Israel to France.
The book was published by
the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem's Magnes Press.

JNF Leadership

NEW YORK — Balti-
more attorney Jerome Car-
din was recently elected
president of the Jewish Na-
tional Fund Leadership

Solar Electricity

The first solar power'sta-
tion in the world was
scheduled to begin operat-
ing in the fall of 1983 at
Kalya, on the Dead Sea.

are house calls
a thing of
the past??



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