Ukraine, the place Golda Meir fled from, now embraces her as a hero

Born 120 years ago, the fourth prime minister of the state of Israel is now celebrated in a land she once fled from in fear of pogroms and hunger.

By IRIS GEORLETTE
May 5, 2018 04:12

Golda Meir at the Kremlin / Source: Shimon Briman

Golda Meir at the Kremlin / Source: Shimon Briman

 
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Kievian tourist sites proudly declare Golda Meir as "a true daughter of Kiev" with modern Ukrainians viewing her as a role model for heroism and nation building. "For us, she is an example of a person who made great changes in the country," said Ukrainian-Jewish member of parliament Georgiy Logvinsky, who is also the head of the Ukrainian parliament Jewish committee.

"We are very proud of the fact she was born here," he said. "Ukraine today has the fourth largest Jewish community in the world and it is the only country led by a Jewish prime minister [Volodymyr Groysman]and I always hear my colleges in parliament use quotes by Golda Meir such as 'We will have peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us'. In Ukraine we are now in a state of war [with Russia, in Donbass] and we try to learn from Israel and Israeli leaders. I personally learned from Israeli leaders during my stay in Israel and that helps the Jewish community here. When she was prime minister, Meir sent a letter to Henry Kissinger who was serving as the US secretary of state and was a Jewish-American asking him to help Israel. He wrote back: 'I am an American citizen, then the state secretary, then a Jew.' She responded by saying: 'It's OK, we read from right to left.'"

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