Visit of NSSP Distinguished Visitor
By Stephanie Neubronner
As part of the National Security Studies Programme’s Distinguished Visitor’s Programme (NSSP-DVP), Prof Gabriel Ben-Dor, Rector Emeritus and Director, National Security Studies at the School of Political Sciences at the University of Haifa, Israel visited RSIS from 29 October to 2 November 2018.
Prof Ben-Dor was formerly a senior adviser on strategic affairs to Israel’s Ministry of Defense, and the director of the graduate study programme at the National Defense College, which provides the highest course of studies in the Israeli Defense Forces. He is also member of a number of high-level public commissions and forums dealing with academic development and policy in Israel and overseas. Prof Ben-Dor has published widely on Middle East politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, national security affairs, strategic studies, ethnic problems, and political theory.
During his weeklong visit, Prof Ben-Dor delivered two public seminars. The first seminar, “Building a Strong National Identity for a Globalised, Multi-ethnic, Immigrant Society: Some Observations”, was focused on the challenges Israel faced as it strived to build a viable nation amidst the concerns posed by concurrent tides of globalism and particularism. The many sharp cleavages that plagued Israeli social intercourse, such as Jewish-Arab and religious-secular divisions, and immigration were discussed.
In the second seminar, “Understanding How Small States Succeed in a Rapidly Evolving and Challenging Strategic Environment: One Israeli View”, Prof Ben-Dor spoke about the importance of human resources when tackling the immediate and urgent threats faced by small states. He also spoke about the effects that interlocking historical, socio-cultural, educational, economic, military, political, and diplomatic factors have had on Israel’s success as a small state.
While in Singapore, Prof Ben-Dor met and exchanged ideas with various senior government officials, as well as working-level analysts from RSIS, the government sector, and an NGO (the Inter-Religious Organisation). Additionally, he was invited to give a live interview on Channel NewsAsia’s PrimeTime News Bulletin, where he spoke on the Khashoggi crisis.
Last updated on 23/01/2019