"I have always carried out the missions the state placed on me, but they have always been accompanied by a feeling of terror. The terror exists now."

SO said the 70-year-old grandmother that the Israelis last week chose to serve as Premier at least until elections next October. For Golda Meir, the statement was an unusual admission of human frailty. Far more characteristic was her tart reply to those critics who murmured that she might be too old for the demanding task before her: "Seventy is not a sin."

Golda Shelanu, or "our Golda,"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!