As a scholar and practitioner Herbert C. Kelman has focused intensively on the Israeli Palestinian conflict for many years. The core of this work has been the facilitation of dialogue between politically influential Israelis and Palestinians close to the centre of the political mainstream. The aim of this dialogue was to promote movement toward a negotiated two-state solution based on a historic compromise that would allow the two peoples to share the land they both cherish and conducive to stable peace, mutual enhancing cooperation, and ultimate reconciliation. With the breakdown of the peace process in 2000 the world has concentrated on efforts to rebuild the shattered trust in the availability of a negotiating partner on the other side, so that the two publics will support a return to the negotiating table.
The “Working Group” comprising six Israeli and six Palestinian participants has met 11 times since June 2004. The Herbert C. Kelman Institute supported the two facilitators Prof. Herbert Kelman and Shibley Telhami for the first time in December 2011 when the group met in Vienna. A follow-up took place in March 2012 in Jerusalem. Successful public roundtables were organised as well in cooperation with “Challenge” – a Jerusalem based NGO – in Jerusalem and Ramallah.