Dr Eldad Ben Aharon

Supervised by

  • Dan Stone First/primary/lead supervisor

    1/10/15 → …

Personal profile

Research Interests

Eldad Ben Aharon is a historian of International Relations who specializes in the field of modern Middle East studies and the region's diplomatic history during the Cold War. Ben Aharon's research focuses on Israel's foreign policy from 1948 to the present. His other main areas of interest are memory studies, Turkey's foreign policy, the Middle East responses to Nazism and the Holocaust, comparative genocide studies, Arab Jews, and the theory and practice of oral history. 


PhD Research

Thesis Title

"The Geopolitics of Genocide in the Middle East and the Second Cold War (1978-1988)"

(Submitted on 21 May 2019 and defended successfully on 6 September 2019)

Ben Aharon was a doctoral candidate at RHUL between 2015-2019. His doctoral thesis investigates why and how Israeli diplomats leveraged the contested memories of the Armenian genocide in key moments of the last decade of the Cold War. Set against the renewed US-Soviet polarisation from 1978, the Iranian revolution in 1979, and the 1980 military coup in Turkey, his thesis examines how the ‘diplomacy of genocide’ was a central component in shaping the geopolitical alliance between Israel and Turkey in the Middle East between 1978 and 1988. 


Refereed Publications 

During his doctoral studies at RHUL, Ben Aharon published his research in several international peer-reviewed journals such as the Oral History Review, Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs and Cold War History. In 2019 he wrote (in Hebrew) a policy paper for Mitvim - The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies - which was followed by two op-eds and news analysis for the Israeli news outlet Mekomit.  


Journal Articles


Foreign Policy Analysis 


Chapter in an Edited Volume

  • Ben-Aharon, E. "Restorative Justice and the Diplomacy of Closure: The Israeli Policy on the Armenian Genocide and the Geopolitics of Memory (1980s-2010s)." in Just Memories. Remembrance and Restoration in the Aftermath of Political Violence eds,. C. d. Gamboa & B. van Roermund (Intersentia Press, 2020). 


Book Reviews 

  • Ben-Aharon, E. Review, Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present, and Collective Violence Against the Armenians, 1789-2009, Fatma Müge Göçek, Journal of Social History 51, no. 3 (2018): 656– 659.
  • Ben-Aharon, E. Review, Recovering Armenia: The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey, Lerna Ekmekçioğlu, Patterns of Prejudice 51, no. 2 (2017): 211-213.
  • Ben-Aharon, E. Review, They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else: A History of the Armenian Genocide, Ronald Grigor Suny, H-Soz-Kult, (2016): 1-3.
  • Ben-Aharon, E. Review, Turkey and the Armenian Ghost: On the Trail of the Genocide, Laura Marchand & Guillaume Perrier, Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History 22, no. 4 (2016): 472-475. 


Non-Refereed Publications: Op-Eds & News Analysis



  • 2015- 2019 D. Phil. Royal Holloway, University of London, Holocaust Research Institute and the Department of History.
  • 2012-2014 Master of Arts University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
  • 2007-2011 BA in Humanities and Social Science with specialization in International Relations.


Grants and Awards

  • 2017-2019 Global Excellence Scholarship for Armenian Studies, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
  • 2015-2019 Crossland Maintenance award, Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • 2015-2019 College Research Scholarship, Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • 2015-2018 Friendly Hand Charitable Foundation Scholarship



  • VISITING LECTURER, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands                            
  • Seminar lecture, BA programme, Department of History of International Relations, Course title: ‘The Middle East after 1945’; lecture entitled: ‘Turkey: Between East and West?’ (December 2018).
  • VISITING LECTURER, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands                           
  • MA programme, Department of History of International Relations. Course title: ‘The Middle East after 1945’; research workshop entitled: ‘Israeli Turkish Relations’ (January 2018).
  • VISITING LECTURER, Leiden University, The Netherlands BA programme, Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), Course title: ‘Anthropology of the Middle East’ (November 2017). 


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