In his talk, Prof. of History and former Israeli Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami discussed the recent ethno-nationalist trends in Israel, Europe and around the globe, and the dangers this dynamic poses to world peace.
Despite rapid globalization over the last few decades, nationalism has re-emerged as a powerful force triggered in recent years by economic insecurity and inequality as well as fears of social and demographic change.
This return to the politics of blood and belonging has swept the globe. The passage of the controversial "nation-state law" in Israel has been seen as part of this tide of ethno-nationalist politics. But the trend has also been spotted in Europe, where an alliance of right-wing nationalist parties has been established in the lead up to the 2019 European Parliament elections. Some have also attributed the 2016 election of Donald Trump to this surge in identity politics.
In his talk, Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami, former Israeli Foreign Minister and Co-Founder of the Toledo International Center for Peace, discussed the global forces that have led to this resurgence of ethnic nationalism, the implications of this growing phenomenon and its different manifestations, and the need for countries to avoid disaster by devising a new way to balance liberal democratic values and people’s craving for a sense of belonging.