Supporting Denial: Israel’s Foreign Policy and the Armenian Genocide

Please note that capacity is limited in the venue. As pre-booking arrangements have proved ineffective, we now intend to offer the 10 available seats on a first come, first served basis. Once capacity is reached, additional people will be turned away. Please arrive early to secure your place. All attendees must scan in using the NHS QR code provided by the college. COVID-19 Safety Information: If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, please do not attend this event. We encourage attendees to wear a face covering at all indoor OSGA events unless exempt. We encourage attendees to respect social spacing, by leaving the seat next to them free, where possible and to use handwashing and hand sanitisation facilities regularly. We request that attendees, particularly those who are not double vaccinated, perform LFD tests before attending OSGA events. All attendees at St Antony's College events must: Take a lateral flow test on the morning of the event - if positive, stay at home; Stay home if you feel unwell; Wear a face covering where indicated; Be considerate of other people’s space; Wash your hands regularly with soap or sanitiser. The latest University guidance on the use of face coverings should be checked and followed: unless exempt, you are asked wear one while moving around indoor spaces, and where possible, while seated, particularly during larger events. Attendees are asked to use the official NHS QR code posters displayed throughout the College site. College general COVID guidance can be found here: Attendees need to have one of: Proof of COVID-19 vaccination status; Registration (via NHS app) of a negative Lateral Flow Device test (LFD test) taken in the last 48 hours; or Proof of natural immunity via a positive PCR test taken within 180 days of the event, but following the 10-day isolation period.

In a milestone vote in late 2019, both the US House of Representatives and Senate overturned more than forty years of precedent to pass a bill declaring that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks was, in fact, a genocide. Subsequently, on 24 April 2021, also US President Joe Biden has officially recognized the Armenian genocide. These decisions reinforced the importance of the subject matter and which offers the opportunity to learn how the 1980s were a formative period for the campaign for international recognition of the Armenian genocide. In his talk, Dr. Ben Aharon will assess how from the 1980s onwards, the state of Israel found itself in the remarkable position of supporting denial of the Armenian genocide. His talk takes us behind the scenes of the Israeli foreign ministry in the 1980s to examine how these state actors strategically mobilised the memory of the Armenian genocide into International Relations where it has remained for the following forty years. Dr. Ben Aharon will explore how Israeli diplomats took advantage of the growing international prominence of the 1915 Armenian genocide to court Turkey in the late Cold War period, leading to the emergence of a unique relationship between Israel and Turkey. The importance of this relationship is underlined by the successful role Israel played in supporting Turkey’s attempts to undermine the campaign by the Armenian diaspora to secure international recognition of the 1915 genocide.