ICIPP, the Israeli Council for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, was formed in late 1975 by a group of prominent Israeli Zionists as a private Israeli initiative in response to signs of moderation that they perceived in the Palestinian national movement and that the Israeli Government seemed intent on ignoring. Among the founders of the Israeli Council were the late Major General Matti Peled, who had been a member of the general staff of the Israeli Defense Forces in 1967; the well-known journalist Uri Avneri; and the late economist Dr. Ya'akov Arnon, a former head of the Dutch Zionist Federation and director-general of the Israeli Finance Ministry.
In February 1976 the founders of ICIPP published a Manifesto in which they set forth their belief that Israel should challenge the PLO to make peace on the basis of Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied in June 1967, the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, and carefully negotiated agreements to guarantee the security of Israel, taking as a model the agreements negotiated with Egypt when Israel withdrew from the Sinai. In addition, ICIPP has never forgotten that even after Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, many Palestinians will continue to live in Israeli territory, and that Israel, by abolishing all discriminatory laws and practices, must make it possible for these Palestinians to feel themselves truly equal citizens of Israel.
Over the years, ICIPP has maintained an ongoing dialogue with the PLO leadership, with the intention of eventually facilitating official peace negotiations. This dialogue was continued even in the period between November 1986 and January 1993, when the so-called "Anti-Terrorism Act" outlawed such contacts between Israelis and representatives of the PLO. ICIPP participated actively in the eventually successful struggle to abolish that law, speaking out in support of peace activists imprisoned for publicly breaking it. ICIPP also backed the soldiers who refused military service in the Occupied Territories.
In 1983, ICIPP decided to broaden the impact of its activities by establishing its own English-language newsletter, The Other Israel.
In September 1993, ICIPP welcomed the Oslo Accords, signed by Prime Minister Rabin and PLO leader Arafat, as a major step forward. It soon became evident, however, that there remained a long way to go, and that a prolonged struggle would be required before the Israeli government would really accept the idea of a full-fledged Palestinian state -- an indispensable condition for lasting peace.
In 1995 ICIPP strongly supported the publication of the statement Our Jerusalem. This statement, initiated by the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, was endorsed by more than 700 prominent Israelis and constituted a moving call for sharing of a united Jerusalem between the Israeli and Palestinian nations.