In Israel, the peace crusader Abie Nathan, entered the 42nd day of his hunger strike on Sunday (25 June).
In Israel, the peace crusader Abie Nathan, entered the 42nd day of his hunger strike on Sunday (25 June). Mr. Nathan has refused in eat in protest against the Israeli governments's policy of establishing settlements in the occupied territories of the West bank and the Golan Heights. He is demanding an immediate reopening of peace negotiations with Egypt and a halt in the building of settlements. Mr. Nathan has campaigned since 1973 for peace using a pirate radio ship broadcasting music interspersed with pacifist slogans. He is now going to close the station and dock the ship, awaiting the outcome of his hunger strike. The Israeli Supreme Court has been asked by a Tel Aviv lawyer on Monday (26 June) to order the arrest of Abie Nathan, so that he can be forcibly fed and his life can be saved. The Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, was to debate four urgent motions concerning Mr. Nathan's hunger strike on Wednesday (28 June).
SYNOPSIS: The peace ship and Abie Nathan's protest have received a lot of support from Israelis. Over the last six weeks there have been demonstrations in the capital, Tel Aviv urging the government to seek a peace settlement with Egypt. Mr. Nathan has said he will continue his hunger strike until death if necessary.
Abie Nathan told newsmen he felt fine, but hoped to have his first meal after the next Israeli parliament meeting when a motion to suspend the building of settlements could be passed. The Peace Ship broadcasts peace slogans in Hebrew and Arabic and donated all profits from advertising to Israeli-Arab youth clubs. Mr. Nathan's hunger strike follows a series of spectacular efforts to encourage peace. In 1966 he flew single-handed to Egypt on a one-man peace mission.
As the ship sailed into Ashed, the disc jockey transmitted the final peace slogan before shutting down.
Several members of the Israeli government, including the Prime Minister, menachem Begin, have appealed to Abie Nathan to end his hunger strike, since his life is now in danger. But Mr. Nathan says he will continue to starve and his ship will remain silent until his conditions are met.