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Shlomo Ben-Ami


Distinguished Fellow (non-resident)

Professor Emeritus Shlomo Ben-Ami of Tel Aviv University 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.


Professor Ben-Ami is currently a Distinguished Fellow (Non-Resident) at the Y&S Nazarian Center. During the Winter Quarter of the 2018-19 academic year, he was a Visiting Professor and taught the course "Containing Conflict: A Comparative Historical Perspective" in the International Institute's International and Area Studies Program, which included the Arab-Israeli conflict as a case study.


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. While serving in that role, 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.