In celebration of seventy-five years of Israel-American relations, a bi-partisan coalition has introduced the Prime Minister Golda Meir Commemorative Coin Act which will have the United States treasury mint a coin bearing the image of Israel’s first and only female prime minister, Golda Meir.
This mammoth task will require a two-thirds majority in both houses. Championed by Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) in Congress alongside Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Senate. “The initiative will offer all Washington lawmakers, especially the seven new senators and seventy-four new house representatives the opportunity to reaffirm their support for Israel,” Bobby Rechnitz, the initiative chair, as well as Los-Angeles based real-estate developer and philanthropist, told The Jerusalem Post while visiting in Bahrain in order to further promote the Abraham Accords. Rechnitz, a confidant and supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sees it as an opportunity to position Israel above politics. “Golda Meir was the personification of the Israel-America relationship, raised in Milwaukee she paved her way to the Holy Land and became one of the founding mothers of Israel,” Rechnitz articulated.
Why pick Golda Meir for the article?
Rechnitz, chairman of the Golda Meir Commemorative Coin Committee, continued saying that “Golda smashed every single glass ceiling to become a role model for young women everywhere. She was a trailblazer for Zionism, equality, feminism and Tikkun Olam. At a time when we see so much political polarization in both countries, we should all be able to rally behind the legacy of Golda Meir as a symbol of unity and progress.”
Lawmakers from both houses will converge on Capitol Hill next week to support and celebrate the initiative at a special Yom Ha’atzmaut event in the halls of power.
Rechnitz is the founder of Bomel Companies, which deals with real estate development in America and Israel. He led a coalition of lobbyists that were instrumental in the passage of the US Iron Dome Legislation. He also co-chaired the committee which secured a Congressional Medal of Honor for former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
“I often try to come up with ways that we can present Israel in the best light possible, so that the people in government in the US don't necessarily only have their view of Israel, through the media, or through some of the organizations that claim to be advocating on behalf of Israel,” Rechnitz said. He emphasized that “Israel is America's best friend and best ally in the Middle East, therefore we look into doing things that are bipartisan, such as choosing Golda Meir.” He explained that Meir is “a real testament to the progress of Jewish people and the success of Israel against insurmountable odds: She was one of the first women leaders of the world and for that she charted a path for future women leaders. I don't know if there was enough recognition given to her at the time.”
Rechnitz said that he sees Meir as a world-class leader, such as Winston Churchill “in terms of major influential world leaders, because between the two of them, you can pick up a book of quotes and everything they said, has a combination of wisdom, political savvy and humor.”
Asked about the recent tension between the American and Israeli administrations, Rechnitz responded that he “always believed that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Joe Biden had a very strong, mutually and respectful relationship. I believe that the relationship will prevail. I think regardless of internal politics and how bad the optics are right now, I think that this relationship will become stronger. And if there are repairs to be made, I think they will come in a very short period of time.”
Rechnitz said that the better option, than demonstrating against one another is “for us, as the Jewish people, especially in the diaspora, as well as in Israel, the better option is to unite around something that we fervently believe in. And when we're talking about a cause, like the Golda Meir coin, the cause of democracy and the fact that Israel is now 75 years old, as the only democracy in the Middle East - Everybody can support it. Everyone can rally around and wholeheartedly be unified.”