Our Inspiration: Humanitarian Abie Nathan

Abie nathan 

Abie nathan 

It all started when...

  • Natan International Humanitarian Aid was founded under the inspiration of the Israeli humanitarian activist Abie Nathan

  • Abie Nathan was a man of peace and a man of action.  As a combat pilot, he saw the death and destruction caused by war and vowed to try to help humanity, rather than destroy it. 

  • The Peace Flight:  On February 28, 1966 Abie flew to Egypt on an unauthorized peace mission, his own private initiative. He piloted a small plane on which  he painted the word "peace" in Hebrew, English and Arabic.

  • Humanitarian Action: On the 28th of October 1966 he flew to India to assist the victims of the drought in Bihar. In the city of Patna he rented trucks, and for three days distributed 10 tons of corn to the inhabitants of 35 villages.

  • In 1968 Abie established the Fund for the Children of Biafra, raising funds in the Netherlands and sending food and powdered milk to Biafra via Nigeria. Abie also flew starving children from Biafra to the Netherlands for medical treatment.

  • In 1973, Nathan founded the Voice of Peace radio station. He bought a ship with the help of John Lennon,  named it the "Peace Ship", and sailed it outside Israeli territorial waters. The station broadcast  pop music and messages of peace 24 hours a day,

  • In 1976  Abie donated 200,000 Israeli lira of the proceeds made from “The Voice of Peace” to children’s hospitals in Israel and Gaza.  That year Abie flew to Guatemala to help rebuild the town of Sanarate that was destroyed in an earthquake. He purchased food and 100,000 chocolate bars and distributed them in 25 villages that were damaged.

  • In 1978, Nathan began his first hunger strike to protest against the construction of Israeli settlements. In the early 1980s, he began meeting officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization, including Yasser Arafat. Abie continued to work toward peace throughout his lifetime. 

  • Helping Refugees: In January 1979 Abie appealed to the Israeli Prime Minister to absorb child refugees from the Vietnamese war. The government authorized the arrival of one hundred refugees and Abie helped in their absorption. 

  • Also in 1979 during the Cambodian War, Abie and several doctors set up the first refugee camp in Thailand. The Israeli aid came in thirty trucks which had the title “Food from Israel” marked on them. The compound included a hospital which treated tens of thousands of refugees.

  • In 1980 Nathan founded “Abie’s Angels” – an organisation of volunteers to help those in need.  

  • In 1985 he flew to Ethiopia and then started collecting money for the people of Ethiopia. With the aid of several million dollars from donations and a group of volunteers, he set up a tent camp for 100,000 refuges in Ethiopia. The camp had electricity, a hospital and other essential facilities. 

  • Abie was born on the 29th of April 1927 in the Persian city of Abadan (today part of Iran), He died in August 2008 in Tel Aviv, Israel.  Throughout his life, Abie was a symbol and spokesman for peace, selfless activism and humanitarian action. 

  • We aspire to meet Abie Nathan's goals of working toward world peace through humanitarian action