At about the same time the station started a new programme each day (except Friday and Saturday), called "What Would We Do?" which Abie Nathan presented himself. It took the form of a phone-
On 19th April 1988 the station broadcast 24 hours of classical music in memory of Israeli soldiers who had died in various wars. Also during that month the station took to relaying the soundtrack of programmes broadcast on Israel's state television network and the Educational Television Service. On 30th April 1988 the soundtrack of the Eurovision Song Contest was re-
The MV Peace entered Haifa on 1st May 1988 for overhaul, repair and painting and consequently the station was off the air for six days. During this period the new FM transmitter was also installed by engineers from the United States and late on 6th May 1988 the Voice of Peace returned on both medium wave and FM with test transmissions.
On 13th September 1988 Abie Nathan met PLO leader Yasser Arafat in Tunis to talk about the possibility of arriving at a peace settlement. When he returned to Israel Nathan was arrested and interviewed by police about his visit. Later that day, after he had been released , he went on air on the Voice of Peace to tell listeners what had happened both at his meeting with Yasser Arafat and with the police following his arrest.
Meanwhile, by the beginning of December 1988 the Voice of Peace was down to just two DJs and Gil Katzir from the station's Tel Aviv office often went out to the ship to present programmes. Lack of advertising income was again causing financial problems and Abie Nathan claimed to be losing $50,000 a month -
The programming situation was relieved somewhat at the turn of the year when an Israeli DJ and two new English and American presenters came on board the MV Peace, while two more Israeli DJs joined the station in early January 1989.
However, despite this influx of new DJs many did not stay long and the station continued to suffer from a shortage of staff and advertising revenue during much of 1989. A novel programming idea to attract more advertisers to the station was tried in August 1989 when a number of "Anniversary Specials" were aired marking events such as the 12th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley on 16th August and the 31st birthday of Michael Jackson on 29th August.
Abie Nathan, appeared in court on 27th September 1989 on charges arising from his meetings with the PLO Leader, Yasser Arafat -
On 2nd October, following a five day Court hearing, Abie Nathan talked on the Voice of Peace about his meetings with Yasser Arafat. The next day he was found guilty of "making forbidden relations with members of a terrorist organisation" and given a fine and a six months term of imprisonment. With some considerable publicity Abie Nathan reported to start his jail sentence on 10th October 1989 and throughout that day the Voice of Peace played music of 'peace and understanding' .
In the absence of Abie Nathan's day-
On 8th December 1989 Abie Nathan was visited in prison by a member of the Knesset, Jossi Sarid, offering him an amnesty from his sentence if he confessed that his talks with the PLO Leader were a 'mistake'. Abie Nathan refused, saying he had deliberately and consciously entered into discussions with Yasser Arafat to try and bring about a settlement for peace in the Middle East and was prepared to stay in jail rather than rebut what he had done.
Abie Nathan was eventually freed from jail (due to good behaviour) on 9th February 1990, after serving four of his six months' sentence. He told journalists that he would continue working for peace and was even prepared to talk with the PLO leader again -
Persistent technical problems aboard the MV Peace which had hindered the Voice of Peace's transmissions for some time were largely solved by a new engineer, Al Muick, during August/September 1990. The shortwave transmitter was also rebuilt and, with tentative plans to return it to the air in time for Christmas 1990, some test transmissions were reported to have taken place on 21st November 1990. Plans were also announced for the installation of a longwave transmitter on 171kHz (1754m) to enable the Voice of Peace's signal to reach further into the Middle East, but this development did not ultimately take place.
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