Shalem College
Ofra Bengio

Prof. Ofra Bengio

PhD., Tel Aviv University
MA., Tel Aviv University
BA., Tel Aviv University

Ofra Bengio’s research focuses on the Kurds, the history and politics of Iraq, and modern Turkey. She is the author of numerous studies on the modern Middle East and the Arab world’s relationship with the Jewish state and people. She earned her Ph.D. from Tel Aviv University on the political discourse of Iraq’s Baath Party, and went on to teach at the university’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies. Currently, she also serves as lecturer in the university’s history department.

Full CV

Selected Publications

The Turkish-Israeli Relationship: Changing Ties of Middle Eastern Outsiders (Palgrave: Macmillan, 2004). Updated, paperback edition published with Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

"The Kurds," Middle East Record, 1969-1970, D. Dishon, ed. (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1977), pp. 730-740.



The Kurdish Phoenix: Nation Building in a Failed Ba'thi State (forthcoming).

Saddam's Word: Political Discourse in Iraq (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). Paperback Edition published with Oxford University Press, 2002.


Edited Books

Ofra Bengio, and Meir Litvak, eds., The Sunna and Shi'a in History: Division and Ecumenism in the Muslim Middle East (Macmillan, forthcoming).



"The Kurdish Problem in Turkey and its Impact on Foreign Relations," Turkish Studies (forthcoming).

"Turkey's Quiet Revolution and Its Impact on Israel," Israel Journal of Foreign AffairsIV (1) (2010), pp. 15-21.

"Babylon versus Zion: Changing Iraqi Perceptions of Israel," Ortadoĝu Etütleri 1 (2) (Jan. 2010), pp. 11-34.

"Iraq's New Political Elites: A Dream Come True?," MERIA Journal 13 (4) (Dec. 2009).

"Building Regional Peace: Iraq and the Kurds," MERIA Journal (Sept. 2009).

"Iraqi Kurds: Hour of Power?," Middle East Quarterly (Summer 2003), pp. 39-48.

"Saddam Husayn's Novel of Fear," Middle East Quarterly (Winter 2002), pp. 9-16.

"Iraq," Middle East Contemporary Survey 2000 24 (2002), pp. 242-282.

"Iraq," Middle East Contemporary Survey 1999 (Tel Aviv) 23 (2001), pp.262-294.

"Iraq," Middle East Contemporary Survey, 1998 (Boulder) 22 (2001), pp. 286-320.

Ofra Bengio, and Gencer Ozcan, "The Decade of the Military in Turkey: The Case of the Alignment with Israel in the 1990's," International Journal of Turkish Studies(Spring 2001), pp. 90-110.

Ofra Bengio, and Gencer Ozcan, "Old Grievances New Fears: Arab Perceptions of Turkey and its Alignment with Israel," Middle Eastern Studies (April 2001), pp. 50-92.

"Iraq," Middle East Contemporary Survey 1997 (Boulder) 21 (2000), pp. 372-409.

"A Republican Turning Royalist: Saddam Husayn and the Dilemma of Succession,"Journal of Contemporary History (Oct. 2000), pp. 641-653.

"How Does Saddam Hold On?," Foreign Affairs (July-Aug. 2000), pp. 90-103.

Ofra Bengio, and Gencer Ozcan, "Changing Relations: Turkish-Israeli-Arab Triangle," Perceptions (March-May 2000), pp. 134-146.

"Crossing the Rubicon: Iraq and the Arab-Israeli Peace Process," MERIA 3 (March 1998).

"Iraq," Middle East Contemporary Survey 1990 (Boulder) 14 (1992), pp. 379-420.

"Baghdad between Shi'a and Kurds," Policy Focus 18 (6) (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy) (Feb. 1992).

"Iraq," Middle East Contemporary Survey 1984-1985 (Boulder) 9 (1987), pp. 460-483.

"Ba'thi Iraq in Search of Identity: Between Ideology and Praxis," Orient 28 (1987), pp. 511-518.

"Saddam Husayn's Quest for Power and Survival," Asian and African Studies 15 (1981), pp. 323-341.

Book Chapters

"The Turkish-Israeli Drama: From Alliance to Alieantion?," Die Zukunft der arabisch-türkischen Beziehungen (Baden-Baden: Nomos, forthcoming).

"Quietists Turned Activists: the Shi'i Revolution in Iraq," The Sunna and Shi'a in History: Division and Ecumenism in the Muslim Middle East, Ofra Bengio, and Meir Litvak, eds. (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming).

"On the Brink: State and Nation in Iraqi Kurdisran," Iraq Between Occupations, Amatzia Baram, Achim Rohde, and Ronen Zeidel, eds. (New York: Palgrave, 2010), pp. 61-79.

"Babylon versus Zion: Changing Iraqi Perceptions of Israel," Muslim Attitudes to Jews and Israel, Moshe Ma`oz, ed. (Brighton: Sussex, 2010), pp.142-155.

"The Long Road to Democracy in Iraq," Political Liberalization in the Persian Gulf, Joshua Teitelbaum, ed. (London: Hurst and Company, 2009), pp.249-270.

"Iraq – From Failed Nation-State to Binational State?," Challenges to the Cohesion of the Arab State, Asher Susser, ed. (Tel Aviv: The Moshe Dayan Center, 2008), pp. 59-83.

"The Clash of Civilizations or Their Decay? An Iraqi Perspective," Middle Eastern Societies and the West: Accommodation or Clash of Civilizations?, Meir Litvak, ed. (Tel Aviv: The Moshe Dayan Center, 2006), pp. 45-58.

"Kurdish Autonomy in Iraq in a Historical Perspective," The Future of Kurdistan and Iraq, Brendan O'Leary, Khaled Salih, and John McGarry, eds. (University of Pennsylvania, 2005), pp. 173-185.

"Upon the Fall of the Ba'th: The Struggle between the Elites in Iraq," The Middle East: The Impact of Generational Change(Tel Aviv: The Moshe Dayan Center, 2005), pp. 91-117.

"The Iraqi Kurds: Hour of Power," Community, Identity and the State, Moshe Gammer, ed. (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 171-180.

"In the Eyes of the Beholder: Jews, Zionism and Israel in the Iraqi Media in Tudor Parfitt," Jews, Muslims and Mass Media, Yulia Egorova, and Tudor Parfitt, eds. (London: Routledge, 2004), pp. 109-120.

"Pitfalls of Instant Democracy," U.S. Policy in Post-Saddam Iraq: Lessons from the British Experience, Michael Eisenstadt, and Eric Mathewson, eds. (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2003), pp. 15-26.

"Die Zukunft des Irak," Saddam Hussains Letztes Gefecht, Osten-Sacken/Fatah, ed. (Konkret, 2002), pp. 206-216.

"Nation Building in Multiethnic Societies: The Case of Iraq," Minorities and the State in the Arab World, Ofra Bengio, and Gabriel-Ben Dor, eds. (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1999), pp. 149-169.

Ofra Bengio, and Gabriel Ben-Dor, "The State and Minorities Toward the 21st Century: An Overview," Minorities and the State in the Arab World, Ofra Bengio, and Gabriel Ben-Dor, eds. (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1999), pp. 191-205.

"Faysal's Vision of Iraq: A Retrospect," The Hashemites in the Modern Arab World: A Festschrift in Honor of the Late Professor Uriel Dan, Asher Susser, and Aryeh Shmuelevitz, eds. (Frank Cass, 1995), pp. 139-152.

"Iraq's Shi'a and Kurdish Communities: From Resentment to Revolt," Iraq's Road to War, Amatzia Baram, and Barry Rubin, eds. (New York: St. Martin's, 1994), pp. 51-66.