One of my fondest memories of my early years in Israel was the late afternoons. As the sun edged toward the horizon to make way for evening, I would turn the dial of my pre-digitized radio to 1540 AM to tune in to the “Voice of Peace” radio station and listen to the enchanting and tranquil melody by The Eagles, “I Wish You Peace”, which the station played every day at sunset.
The man responsible for the radio station, for the “pirate ship” from which it broadcast “from somewhere in the Mediterranean” (in reality, just outside Israel’s territorial waters, near Tel Aviv), and for the message of peace that it aired between 1973 and 1993 was Abie Nathan.
On August 27th, Abie Nathan passed away at the age of 81.
Abie Nathan was a peace activist and lifelong maverick, who made a career of pushing the envelope. He advocated positions when they weren’t popular and waited for the rest of Israeli society to play catch-up. He employed controversial methods that most of his fellow countrymen thought “uncouth”. He exposed himself to harsh criticism and even put his own safety and health on the line in order to challenge the stagnant normative refrain of Israeli society: “There is no Arab partner for peace”.