In taking personal responsibility for her governments mistakes of judgement that allowed Syrian and Arab armies to cause massive Israel deaths, destruction, injury and prisoners taken hostage, in the October 1973 war, Prime Minister Golda Meir, though not required to do so, resigned her position. She was followed by Yitzhak Rabin who became Israel’s 6th Prime Minister in June 1974.
Following a week of intense public debate and finger pointing, Prime Minister Golda Meir announced that she was resign as leader of the country at a Labor Party meeting, just one month after forming the 16th government of Israel following the December 1973 elections. The following day she announced her resignation to the Knesset.
On April 2, 1974, the Agranat Commission presented its interim report to the government. The Commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Shimon Agranat, was created to investigate how and why Israel had been caught unaware and ill-prepared at the onset of the October 1973 Yom Kippur War. The report caused a public furor and led to the dismissal of several key military leaders, including Chief of Staff David Elazar.
The report did not directly implicate the Prime Minister, however public criticism mounted against both her and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in the days following the report’s release. As criticism against the government was mounting, Meir had an increasingly difficult time maintaining her coalition which threatened the Labor Party rule. In making her announcement, Meir said, “I have reached the end of the road. I cannot carry on any longer.” Yitzhak Rabin, then serving as Minister of Labor, emerged as the new Labor Party leader defeating his rival Shimon Peres. On June 3rd, he became Israel’s 6th Prime Minister.
The photo shows the outgoing and incoming Prime Ministers Rabin and Meir at a special farewell party held in June 1974.