For more than three decades Cohen has been actively engaged in bringing Palestinians and Israelis together. These meetings confidential, unpublicized, composed of those who were and would become influential helped lay the ground for the breakthrough in the Oslo accords. They continue to offer a way of breaking the cycle of violence and loss that now marks Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Among his activities, Cohen is National Scholar at the Israel Policy Forum. He and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance founded the Institute for Middle East Peace at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. The Institute is supported by Arab, American, and Jewish business leaders and has received the assistance of the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Agency for International Development.
Dr. Cohen's Athenaeum lecture is sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights as part of the series Torture, Human Rights, and the Geneva Convention.