“ONLY THROUGH COOPERATION AMONG ALL OF THE WORKERS’ PARTIES WILL WE BE ABLE TO… SUCCEED IN THE GREAT CHALLENGE”: TYPED LETTER IN HEBREW SIGNED BY GOLDA MEIR
MEIR, Golda. Typed letter signed. Jerusalem: October 23, 1954. Octavo, one sheet of official Ministry of Labor stationery (6 by 8-1/2 inches), writing on recto only. $4200.
Typed letter signed, from Minister of Labor Golda Meir (as “Golda Meyerson”) to political party leader Meir Yaari.
Written in Hebrew, the letter reads: “Ministry of Labor. Office of the Minister of Labor, Jerusalem. Jerusalem, October 23, 1954, 26 Tishri 5715. To: Meir Yaari, Kibbutz Merhavia. Dear Friend, There are moments in which every member of one of the workers’ parties in the State must make his own decision as to how he can best serve the individual and all of society-outside the Government, or within it. As a former member of Kibbutz Merhavia and an incumbent member of the Government, I feel that the time is ripe and that Mapam must join the Sharett Government. The importance of Mapam’s pioneering enterprise will be called into question, if you do not realize that only through cooperation among all of the workers’ parties will we be able to withstand and succeed in the great challenge that is still before us. Cordially, [Signed] Golda Meyerson, Minister of Labor. cc: Moshe Sharett, Prime Minister.”
The recipient, Meir Yaari, was the founder and one of the leaders of the political party Mapam (United Worker’s Party), and was a revolutionary Marxist. His party was at odds with Meir’s party, Mapai, and was not included in any of the governing coalitions led by David Ben-Gurion. When Ben-Gurion retired from politics in 1953, Moshe Sharett became Prime Minister, and this letter provides evidence that Sharett was trying to bring Mapam into the coalition. Golda Meir was a good choice to write such a letter to Yaari, as they had both belonged to the same kibbutz, worked together in the Histadrut, and shared a love of the land. Yaari’s party was becoming more interested in joining a coalition as their previous hard-line support of communism and the Soviet Union was crumbling due to increasing evidence of the Soviet Union’s human rights atrocities and anti-Semitism. On Sharett’s part, he was looking for political allies wherever he could find them, as the greatest political scandal in Israeli history, the Lavon Affair, had just emerged, at the beginning of October. The Affair would ultimately cost Sharett his job as Prime Minister, and in fact he left politics entirely a few years later. Yaari’s party ultimately did not join the governing coalition, but when David Ben-Gurion became Prime Minster again in 1955, Mapam and Yaari were included in a governing coalition for the first time. The relationship between Mapai and Mapam would sour in 1959, though, when Mapam’s refusal to vote with Ben-Gurion caused the government to collapse, and Ben-Gurion to resign.
Two round holes punched in margin. Faint creases from folding. A fine letter, boldly written and signed by Golda Meir as Golda Meyerson.