Shlomo Ben Ami was born in 1943 in Tangier to Moroccan Jewish parents. He immigrated with his family to Israel in 1956. He studied Hebrew literature and history at Tel Aviv University and then at Oxford University, where he received his doctorate. He specialized in Spanish history, before becoming a professor of history at Tel Aviv University, then head of the department of history and, finally, dean of the same university from 1982 to 1986.
Shlomo Ben Ami has been interested in the history of Israel and the Middle East, just as he has been passionate about Spanish history, publishing biographies of leaders such as General Primo de Rivera who ruled Spain from 1923 to 1930. Ben Ami’s work is a reference work to this day.
In addition to his work as a historian, Shlomo Ben-Ami is also interested in politics and the diplomatic corps. Because of his knowledge of Spanish history, he served as Israel’s first ambassador to Spain from 1987 to 1991, before being elected as a member of the Israeli Knesset (Labour Party), then Minister of Internal Security and head of the Israeli police in the government of Ehud Barak in the late 1990s, and Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2000.
Shlomo Ben-Ami is a strong defender of peace, especially between the Arab world and Israel. He has been appointed Vice-President of the Toledo International Center for Peace. He was the architect of the Camp David Peace Accords.
Shlomo Ben Ami is the author of numerous publications in English, Spanish and Hebrew, including : Scars of War, Wounds of Peace: The Israeli-Arab Tragedy (2007); El cirujano de hierro: La dictadura de Primo de Rivera 1923-1930 (2012); Cual Es El Futuro De Israel? (2002); Historia del estado de Israel (1981); Revolucion desde arriba, la : España 1936-1979 (1980).
Shlomo Ben-Ami met His Majesty King Mohammed VI in Agadir and presented his vision for a peace plan between Palestine and Israel.