The Politics of Conflict: Reflections on the Middle East and Beyond

Shlomo Ben Ami, Toledo International Center for Peace

The Politics of Conflict: Reflections on the Middle East and Beyond

Conversation between American Pres. Bill Clinton, P.M. Ehud Barak And Chairman Arafat at the Opening Of The Camp David Summit (Photo: Avi Ohayon/Israel Government Press Office) National Photo Collection License

Historian and diplomat Shlomo Ben Ami will analyze different conflict theaters in the Middle East and elsewhere against the background of the major shifts in regional and global politics.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
UCLA School of Law, Room 1357

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Date changed to Wednesday, April 4

Sponsored by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Co-sponsored by the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, Center for Middle East Development, the Center for European and Russian Studies, and the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

About the Talk

In a tour d´horizon, Prof. Ben Ami will explore how and why the resistance to diplomatic solutions has been common to most of the major conflicts in the Middle East, East Asia and Russia’s borders with NATO, and attempt to draw lessons from different peacemaking efforts in recent years. He will discuss the impact on world security and peace of the Chinese, Russian and current American administration's built-in aversion to multilateralism, and further describe how the evident exhaustion of Western universalism and the robust challenge of rising powers allow the vision of a return to the Westphalian system and the balance of power to gain ground.

 About the Speaker

Shlomo Ben Ami is an historian and former Israeli diplomat and politician. He currently serves as vice-president of the Toledo International Center for Peace, of which he is co-founder. 

Prof. Ben Ami was educated at Tel Aviv University and Oxford University (D. Phil, St.Antony’s College). From 1982-1986 he headed the Graduate School of History at Tel Aviv University, and assumed The Elias Sourasky Chair for Spanish and Latin American Studies in 1986. He is the author of, among others, The Origins of the Second Republic in Spain, and Fascism from Above: The Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera in Spain, both published by Oxford University Press. 

In 1987, Ben Ami was appointed as Israel’s Ambassador in Spain, serving until December 1991. He was a member of Israel’s delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference. In 1993, he headed the Israeli delegation at the Multilateral Talks on Refugees in the Middle East held in Ottawa, Canada.

In 1996 he was elected to the Knesset, where he served as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. In 1999, Ben-Ami was appointed as Minister of Public Security and later becoming Foreign Minister in 2000. As such he conducted the secret negotiations with Abu Ala in Stockholm. He participated with Prime Minister Barak in the Camp David Summit, after which he led the Israeli team in all the different phases of the negotiations with the Palestinians, including Taba.

From 2006-2010, Ben-Ami served on the board of International Crisis Group and is now a member of the Crisis Group Senior Advisers.

Since 2010, he served as special advisor of Colombia’s President Santos and the Colombian negotiating team in the peace negotiations with the FARC guerrilla. In recognition for his work, he was awarded the President’s medal for a special service to the country, and was kindly invited to join Mr. Santos in the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

Through the Toledo Center, Ben Ami has also been involved in conflict resolution processes in the Dominican Republic, Russia-Georgia, Libya, Spanish Sahara, and Israel-the Arab world.

Sponsor(s): Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Burkle Center for International Relations, Center for Middle East Development, Center for European and Russian Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures