In 1927, Abie Nathan was born to a Jewish
family in Iran
and later educated by Jesuit priests in India. He served as a fighter pilot with British
forces during World War II
and emigrated to Israel
in the middle of its war of Independence in 1948. He immediately found himself back
in the air defending the creation of the new state. He served the Israeli Air Force until 1951 then settled down in Tel Aviv. He opened a popular and profitable American-style restaurant, the 'California' in downtown Tel Aviv
Not long after, he was bitten by the 'peace bug' and campaigned ardently for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Between 1973 and 1993 he operated the the Voice of Peace - a pirate radio station, housed on an old Dutch trawler called The Peace Ship off the coast of Tel Aviv.
In October 1993, with the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords, Abie felt that the time had come to close the station. The Peace Ship was scuttled in November of the same year. In 1997, Abie suffered a major stroke and was confined to a wheelchair.
Abie Nathan died on August 27th, 2008.