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Lecture | LUCIS What's New?! Series

Israel's Foreign Policy in Nagorno Karabakh: History, Geopolitics, and Arms Trading

Thursday 22 April 2021
What's New?! Spring Lecture Series 2021
This is an online event. Please register to receive the link to the lecture.

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh emerged in 1988 with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the independence of the Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan. Over the last three decades, a number of regional actors, such as Turkey, Russia, Iran but also Israel have been involved in this armed conflict. Common wisdom asserts that Jews and Armenians are natural allies, bound by a ‘covenant of fate' both being victims of genocide – the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide. However, that is not at all how consecutive Israeli governments view their relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan. In his talk, Dr. Ben Aharon will assess Israel's foreign policy doctrine in light of its specific geopolitical interests in the South Caucasus and its involvement in the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in the fall of 2020. He will demonstrate how and why the history of Israel's relations with Iran before and after the 1979 revolution, the 1993 Oslo Accords and Jerusalem’s relations with Ankara, have put Israel in a position to support Azerbaijan rather than Armenia since the mid-1990s.  

About Eldad Ben Aharon

Dr. Ben Aharon is a lecturer at Leiden University and Minerva Fellow and Associate Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). He is a historian of International Relations specializing in the Cold War in the Middle East. Dr. Ben Aharon research focuses on Israel's diplomatic history, Turkey’s foreign policy, intelligence history and counter-terrorism, oral history, Jewish and Armenian transnationalism, and memory of the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide. He has published scholarly articles on a range of subjects in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Cold War History, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, and the Oral History Review. Dr. Ben Aharon is also involved in research-led public engagement, therefore, he regularly writes short essays on current affairs for The Conversation, The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, The National Interest and Times of Israel, on issues related to the Middle East, Turkey’s foreign policy, Israel’s political history, Holocaust memory, the Armenian genocide and transnationalism. He received his PhD in history from Royal Holloway University of London (2019). Dr. Ben Aharon also holds an MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from the University of Amsterdam (2014) and a BA in Political Science and International Relations from the Open University in Israel (with honours, 2011).

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