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Jimmy Carter Administration: Statement on the Death of Golda Meir

(December 8, 1978)

The American people and I join the people of Israel in mourning the loss of former Prime Minister Golda Meir. Throughout one of the most remarkable careers of public leadership in this century, Golda Meir embodied the best in the Israeli spirit—courage and idealism; honest outspokenness and buoyant good humor; strength and compassion and a deep love of her land; proud determination and boundless energy and hard work; and a deep, abiding commitment to peace.

As a young woman, she lived in the city of Milwaukee, and the American people have always felt a special love and affection for Golda Meir. I will always remember her warmth and graciousness when we met in Israel when she was Prime Minister in 1973.

Though she counted Presidents and world leaders among her friends, Golda Meir always understood that great global issues involve the hopes and fears of ordinary men and women, and people all over the world responded to her humanity.

Golda Meir is among that heroic group of men and women, Israel's pioneers, who dreamed of establishing a free and independent Jewish state—and who made that dream come true for millions of people in one of the great stories of human struggle and fulfillment of all time.

On the occasion of her death, it is fitting to note that the nation of Israel, to which she dedicated her life, is strong and free today. We pray that the second great dream of Golda Meir's life, for which she worked and hoped and prayed all her life, will soon be realized: a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Sources: Public Papers of the President