Voice Of Peace - Abie Nathan

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When in Israel in May 2009, I visited the Kibbutz Givat Haviva in the north of the country where they keep the biggest archive on Israeli and Palestine relationships. The foundation is trying to promote a greater understanding between different groups in the Jewish-Israeli society and the Arab world. Before his death Abie Nathan donated his entire archive to Givat Haviva. In his estate there are many, many items about all the things Abie cared about and put his heart and soul in during his lifetime. This ranges from complete blue-prints of Biafran fugitive camps to personal letters from dear friends, presidents, ministers of state, actors, and film stars, all the material from the time he flew his Peace Plane, the art he produced, photos, furniture (Furniture in this photo will be placed in the museum - photo Martin vd Ven) and even the start of his Memoirs. Of course also material about the period in which Abie was managing The Voice Of Peace. Archive and Library Director David Amitai told me about their desire and plans to establish the Abie Nathan Museum on the grounds of the Kibbutz of Givat Haviva. The foundation is looking for additional funding to materialize the plans and open the museum.

This is the building in which the museum will find its home. The people at Givat Haviva gratefully allowed me to take many photos which I will share with you on this page.

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The model of the museum is ready and waiting at Menashe, the location of Givat Haviva,  with the part dedicated to The Voice Of Peace on the photo at the right

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The plan is to make it possible to listen to old transmissions of The Voice Of Peace when visiting the museum. The audio tapes which were on board are all digitalized by Noam Tal and are now on cd or dvd at Givat Haviva, waiting to be placed on a Internet server, so that the whole world can enjoy and listen to the Voice Of Peace programmes. There still are original reels which he keeps in the best shape possible for historic reasons.

Noam estimates that there are about 50 hours of speeches in both English and Hebrew of Abie Nathan and hundreds of hours of the deejays on disc available in the archives at Menashe. Besides the program tapes from the VOP he also digitalized documentaries about the ship, Abie and the Peace Organisation from all over the world. That means that there is material in all languages such as Dutch, German, French and English coming from Europe, the USA and even Australia.

Naom, now 42 years old, lived in a small village near Tel Aviv where he used to listen to The Voice Of Peace as a child and enjoyed the unique atmosphere of the station. He met Abie for the first time seven years ago in May, after there was a request for recordings and films about the VOP for a special event which was Abies 76 birthday. Since that day he started to take care of Abie, together with Eva and some other friends.

Besides all the tapes and photos in the archive, Noam also did a great job in digitalizing many newspaper articles concerning Abie and The VOP in both Hebrew and English . The first ones are from 1959. The year in which Abie played the role of a young pilot in a English film about integration for people coming to Israel from all over the world, stretching to the articles about his death on the 27th of August 2008 and the aftermath.

I asked him what happened to the equipment on board of the Peace ship when Abie let it sink on open sea.

tal01.jpg (60391 bytes)Noam: -The last broadcast from the Peace ship was on the first of October 1993. Besides financial difficulties Abie thought the ship had run its course, after the Oslo agreements. It became harder and harder to maintain the old ship. After the closedown the ship set sail to Ashod for 2 weeks. While in the harbour stuff like the refrigerator and washing machines were taken off and given to friends. All transmission equipment was donated to Israeli and Palestine organisations or did sank with the ship. All studio  equipment like headphones, cd players, reel to reel Tape recorders were given to befriended organisations. Parts of the maritime equipment was taken from the ship and, as you have seen, is now at Givat Haviva.- photo http://www.radioday.nl

Click here for some VOP jingles and comm.  

Click to hear a short Abie Nathan speech. Thanks Hans

To hear more audio clips of The Voice Of Peace, please scroll down to the bottom of this article where you will find links for the history in writing and audio of the VOP.

You can also visit Noams site to read more about the history of Abie Nathan: click here

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In the archives at Givat Haviva one can find all kinds of photos with and from Abie over the years, right till his last days, but also cd's and dvd's (many of them from The Netherlands) and very personal material like his Press Card
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All Boxes in the archive marked with the sticker on the left are filled with Abie Nathanīs letters, drawings, plans and even love letters.
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In 1996 Abie started to write his Memoirs. The original book will also be on display as part of the exhibition.
 

In 2007 a exhibition took place at the Yavne Art Gallery, just  north of Tel Aviv, under the name -Abie Nathan Man Of Peace- Here are some photo's of the opening ceremony.

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Two pieces of Abie Nathan art, on file at Givat Haviva. The right one is also in my personal collection.

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All kind of ship materials and nautical equipment were taken from The Peace Ship before it sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean and are now waiting in the cellar to find a place in the museum.
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In a frame on the wall I found the signed poster of the Peace Ship from the Radio Day in Amsterdam on November the 4th 2006 and also the original Fire Control Plan from the ship. As well as a few letters from Bill Clinton and actor Michael Douglas.
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Underneath some items from my personal collection of VOP and Abie Nathan, including the pin Abie wore during his meeting with Arafat in 1995.
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If you would like to hear the sound of The Voice Of Peace, or learn more about the history of the ship please go to one of the following links. Click the link to go to the page:

Hans Knot and Noam Tal, together with others, did a fantastic job making the whole history available.

Hans Knot VOP photos at SMC

The link above comes from the Download page of Martin vd Ven with lots more programmes from the VOP.

A few parts of MW transmissions from the VOP you will find on this page.

Above link comes from Radio Day, an anual gathering of Offshore Radio fans and broadcasters.

Abe Nathan 40 years of Peace, a feature by Hans Knot

In memory of Abie Nathan, the original voice of peace By Meretz USA Executive Director, Ron Skolnik

Another photo clip Abie Nathan tribute

TV2 report of the reunion of The VOP 08-11-2006 in Amsterdam

The Voice Of Peace in the Mediterranean

The Voice Of Peace at sea 1993

Last broadcast oct 1993

Abie Nathan passed away

The Voice Of Peace - Kol Hashalom

BBC Radio Four 1992 - The Voice Of Peace

The Voice of Peace Radio - The Crew

Givat Haviva Foundation 1

THANKS

A big thank you to all the people who helped to create this page. Nimrod Ben-Naim and friends, David Amitai and his staff, Hans Knot, Noam Tal, Dr. Martin v.d. Ven, Don Stevens and Stichting Media Communicatie. The foundation Givat Haviva will welcome any financial support to help them set up the Abie Nathan Museum. If you are interested, or if you feel you can help out, or if you have any questions about the foundation or the museum please contact David Amitai at givathaviva@givathaviva.org.il

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