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volume 8
february 2006

Remembering ...


  A series of memories edited by Hans Knot
  In 1969 the MV Peace, Abie Nathan's radio ship, sailed from Amsterdam to New York. There it had to stay for three long years through lack of funds. Then at last, after a long and eventful journey, the ship anchored off Tel Aviv in May 1973 where it was sunk in November 1993. Over all those years many things happened to the radio station aboard, the Voice of Peace, that was meant by its owner to voice a message of peace where this was needed. This series offers an oral history of the station, presenting the memories of those involved in this adventurous enterprise.

English Introduction. Abie Nathan's daughter, Sharona Nathan El Saieh, and Noam Tal were so kind as to write this introduction to our new series on the Voice of Peace.
English 1. Who's Abie Nathan? Who is Abie Nathan? The short answer: an Israeli philanthropist, a tireless peace campaigner and — last but not least — the proud owner of and the driving force behind the offshore radio station "The Voice of Peace" that was airing its messages of peace towards the warring parties in the conflict between Israel and its neighbouring countries from 1973 till 1993. Noam Tal here expands this answer into a longer story.
English 2. Ship for sale: from Groningen to Amsterdam. From 1973 till 1993 the MV Peace — or the Peace Ship, as the radio ship was called by those involved with the Voice of Peace — housed the station safely for over twenty years. The ship was the former MV Cito, bought in 1969 by Nathan while it was moored at the quayside in Groningen. Hans Knot, living in the city of Groningen, visited the ship after it travelled to Amsterdam and here evokes its story.
English 3. Talking peace in New York. After its arrival in 1969, the MV Peace stayed for three years and some months — from the end of 1969 up till early 1973 — in New York because of lack of funds. In this chapter of our series on the Voice of Peace, we look at what Russell T. Dodworth, one of the right hands of Abie Nathan, remembers from these days when he was busy doing publicity for the station as well as getting Nathan in contact with John Lennon.
English 4. Abie Nathan's Peace programme. Abie Nathan did more than keeping the Voice of Peace on the air and making his regular and sometimes more irregular Peace programme or Phone-In shows. He was involved with a lot of other activities as well, which brought relieve to many but often also problems for himself. The Israeli Forum for International Human Aid once made a list of the most important deeds of Nathan through the years for people all over the world. It's not doable to list it all, so Hans Knot decided to present a selection.
English 5. Bringing the MV Peace to Israel. After three years in New York harbour, on 16th March 1973, the MV Peace sailed out to her eventual destination, three miles off the coast of Tel Aviv. There, from 26th May, Abie Nathan's Voice of Peace would air its messages of peace to the people of the Middle East. Thirty years later engineer Ed Simeone wrote down his memories of a hectic voyage across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
English 6. Tony Allan's travels on the MV Peace. In the summer of 1972, after his hunger strike finally drew the attention of the American press, Abie Nathan at last acquired sufficient funds to equip his radio ship, the MV Peace. The first deejay to be hired while the ship was still moored in New York, was Anthony J. Smith, better known as Tony Allan. Afterwards Hans Knot interviewed the former deejay of Radio Scotland, RNI and Radio Caroline. For our series on Nathan's radio station the Voice of Peace he made this condensed version of what Allan had to tell about his adventures aboard the MV Peace till his return to the North Sea in September 1973.
English 7. Invoking peace during the Yom Kippur War. At the end of 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel to recover lost Arab territory in what became known as the Yom Kippur, Ramadan War or October War. Abie Nathan's radio station the Voice of Peace did not prove equal to the real conditions of war. Plagued by a lack of funds and a military intervention, the radio ship erratically moved its location to finally end up in Marseille. Hans Knot here summarizes this curious episode in the station's history.
English 8. Monitoring the Voice of Peace: 1975. Not much was heard about the Voice of Peace during 1974. Some months into 1975, however, the station again gave sign of life. From that moment on, it was monitored by the folks of the Monitor Magazine, the Pirate Radio News and Freewave Media Magazine in Britain and the Netherlands. Hans Knot recapitulates their first findings, starting with the MV Peace moored in Marseille, being readied for her first try at the Suez Canal.
English 9. The golden years. There was a time when the Voice of Peace was one of the most radical offshore radio stations in the world. With its tight professional programming and its pool of experienced broadcasters, it out-performed every station in its reach. Don Stevens was one of the lucky people working on the station during these years. Here he tells his story.
English 10. Abie Nathan visits London and Crispian St. John boards the Peace Ship. Going back to 1976, Hans Knot continues our series on the off-shore radio station Voice of Peace, while telling us more about Abie Nathan's visit to London and also opening up the diary of the late Howard G. Rose, a.k.a. Crispian St. John.
English 11. From Australia to the Mediterranean. Australia delivered its share of the host of disk-jockeys that filled the offshore radio stations of the 1960s and 1970s. Some Australians even found their way to the Mediterranean to work for the Voice of Peace. One of them is Phil Brice, who here conveys his experiences aboard the MV Peace.
English 12. The Peace Foundation. By taking shares in the Peace Foundation, the public at large could partake financially in the Voice of Peace enterprise of Abie Nathan. Hans Knot here offers some basic information on this foundation.
English 13. A rising popularity. In 1976 the popularity of the Voice of Peace rose to new heights, as at least 40% of the Israeli population was listening regularly to the sound of 1540. Here, Hans Knot tells us more about this sound and the deejays who were responsible for it, like Black Printz, Robin Banks, Ken Dicken, Crispian St. John, Don Stevens, Phil Sayer, Richard Woods and, of course, Abie Nathan himself.
English 14. Making headlines. At the start of 1977 the MV Peace finally succeeded in sailing through the Suez Canal to Israel's Red Sea port Eilat and back. That same year Abie Nathan again began a hunger strike. Both these facts figured prominently in an 11-minute feature on BBC Television's Tonight, that's summarized here by Hans Knot for our series on the Voice of Peace.
English 15. Carl Kingston travels back to 1977. In 1977 Carl Kingston boarded the MV Peace. Interviewed by Hans Knot, he tells us about what happened that year up and around the off-shore radio station Voice of Peace, airing its music as well as its message of peace off of the coast of Israel.
English 16. A bit more about the ship and the "mutiny". On Christmas Day 1977 Guy Starkey first set foot on board the MV Peace. Here, he tells us more the accommodation of the Peace Ship and the crisis of March 1978 that became known as the Mutiny.
English 17. Close-down announced in 1978. For this chapter of our ongoing series on the Voice of Peace, Hans Knot rummaged through his archives to see what the first months of 1978 brought the station when Abie Nathan announced a close-down because Israel's public radio station sent the VOP-advertisers a mail advising them to stop their commercials on the station.
English 18. Abie Nathan's hunger strike. In the summer of 1978 Abie Nathan started a hunger strike, announcing not to consume any food until Israel's Prime Minister, Menachem Begin, at least made some attempts towards peace in the Middle East. Nathan prolonged his hunger strike to its 45th day, when he was brought into the Knesset in a wheelchair and was asked to stop his fast. Hans Knot here tells us more about this episode in the history of the Voice of Peace.
English 19. Working for the Voice of Peace. Gibraltar-born disc-jockey Robbie Owen joined the Voice of Peace in the summer of 1978, shortly after Abie Nathan had ended his hunger strike. Here he tells his memories of his life on board the MV Peace.
English 20. Revisiting the early 1980s. In the 1960s John "B" Bennett got addicted to Radio Caroline North and from there on wanted to be a radio deejay himself. As such he did stints on two offshore radio stations: Radio Caroline and The Voice of Peace, where he arrived in the early part of 1980 and subsequently acquired the nickname "Sloopy." Here he tells more of life on board the MV Peace.
English 21. Live at 6,000 volts. Early February 2006, working on this series on the Voice of Peace, Hans Knot received an email, warning him not to forget mentioning the name of Rob Leighton, who worked on board the MV Peace as an engineer during May and June 1981. Well, this is what Leighton had to tell ...
English 22. The fastest job interview I ever had. One of the many deejays who had a wonderful time while working for Abie Nathan and his radio station The Voice of Peace is Steve Marshall. Though his stay on the MV Peace now dates back over a quarter of a century, his memories are still very clear.
English 23. The class of 1983. For this series on the Voice of Peace, Hans Knot mined his archive and unearthed some short pieces and personal diary notes about the Peace Ship and a lot of the people involved with the Voice of Peace in 1983, like Dave Asher, David Fortune, Clive Graham, Steve Growcott, Terry Keeble, Adrian Scalley, Digby Taylor, Dave Thomas, Geoff Tracey, Geoff Webster and Robbie White.
English 24. Remember the promise you made ... Five years had passed since Don Stevens left the Voice of Peace and his life had changed in many ways. He had found employment in Britain as Music Director for a large entertainment group in the north-east of England. In 1985, however, unexpectedly Abie Nathan called him back to the Voice of Peace to re-vamp the programming.
English 25. The second time around. John Dwyer joined the Voice of Peace in 1983. He left again in the summer of 1984 after six months of work and fun. The very next year, though, Abie Nathan himself called him back to the "1540." Here is what Dwyer himself, back in 1985, wrote about this short episode in the history of the Voice of Peace in which the crew did its best to give the station a new lease of life, but technical as well as financial problems forced the ship into Ashdod Port.
English 26. A report from February 1987. Dave James was one of the few disk-jockeys of the Voice of Peace who met Abie Nathan before travelling to Israel, as most of the British deejays were sent out by the station's representative in England. James, however, had the luck of meeting Nathan in person, while he was visiting London. In February 1987 James reported on his experiences on the Peace Ship, where he worked for a period of ten months.
English 27. The summer of 1987 and a coconut. In June 1987 the Voice of Peace was plagued by some technical problems and, of course, there were also the ongoing changes in the team on board of the Peace Ship. One of the disk-jockeys, Mike Davis, was interviewed by Chris Edwards. Hans Knot here presents some extracts of this interview as to give an impression of what was going on on the Peace Ship at that time.
English 28. Some bits and pieces from 1988. Using the logs written by the deejays and the reports of the radio magazines Monitor, OEM and Freewave Media Magazine, Hans Knot condenses year 1988 of the Voice of Peace history in a few pages. What happened to the ship and the station of Abie Nathan during that year?
English 29. An open letter to the Anoraks. On September 26th, 1990, OEM reader Al Muick wrote a long, open letter to the Anoraks in Europe, addressing especially those with a good technical background, to tell them about his adventures, while working for the Voice of Peace.
English 30. Flashing through 1991. In the late 1980s two young ladies from Israel, Gali and Vered Kravitzki, started to log the output of Abie Nathan's Voice of Peace and sent their reports out to a weekly newsmagazine, called Anorak UK. After this magazine stopped circulation they both went on, now sending their reports to the French editor of OEM. In 2006, their where-abouts are unknown, Hans Knot selected some of their newsflashes from 1991 for this chapter in the history of the Voice of Peace.
English 31. The Voice of Peace Gulf War Diary. The Gulf War of 1991 did not leave the MV Peace untouched. In January the ship moved nearer to the Tel Aviv coast to guarantee ship-to-shore connections. Some days later presenter John MacDonald saw the first Scuds falling on the city and even closer by in sea. Now, fifteen years later, he opens his diary to recall his memories of those disturbing days.
English 32. Reminiscing the final year. Since 1969 hundreds of people have worked for Abie Nathan in his fight for peace — most of them on board the radio ship MV Peace anchored off of the Israeli coast. None of them, though, shared his name — at least until what would prove to be the station's final year. Then Nathan Morley arrived whose first name corresponded with Abie's last name. Nowadays working and living on Cyprus, he wrote down his memories of these days.
English 33. The last months in broadcasting. In this final chapter of our series on the Voice of Peace Chris Edwards and Hans Knot give a run-down of the last months of broadcasting of Abie Nathan's offshore radio station, from late June till October 1st, 1993, when at nine o'clock in the morning local time, the last programme was started. On November 28th 1993 the MV Peace was sunk in the Mediterranean.
English 34. Deejays of the Voice of Peace, 1973-1993. Like on many other offshore radio stations a lot of people have worked for the Voice of Peace. During its twenty years of broadcasting the station housed almost 250 deejays/presenters. Helped by Chris Edwards and Mike Darby, Hans Knot here lists their names.
English Acknowledgements. Thanks to ...
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