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Our Team

Dr. Jonathan Schanzer

Vice President for Research

Areas of Impact:

Turkey, North Africa, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Arab Spring, Egypt, Islamism, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, Hezbollah, Israel, Al Qaeda, Intelligence Community, Palestinian Politics, Iran, Iran - Sanctions

Biography:

Since joining us in February 2010, Dr. Schanzer has been singularly focused on ensuring that FDD delivers not only accurate and timely research, but also research that is useful to decision makers inside the Beltway, across America, and around the world.

Dr. Schanzer brings solid scholarship and public policy credentials to his job of overseeing FDD's research.  He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers.  A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his Ph.D. from King's College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community.

Since joining us in February 2010, Dr. Schanzer has been singularly focused on ensuring that FDD delivers not only accurate and timely research, but also research that is useful to decision makers inside the Beltway, across America, and around the world.

Dr. Schanzer brings solid scholarship and public policy credentials to his job of overseeing FDD's research.  He worked as a terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he played an integral role in the designation of numerous terrorist financiers.  A former research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries. He earned his Ph.D. from King's College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

Dr. Schanzer is part of the leadership team of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, which provides policy and subject matter expertise on the use of financial and economic power to the global policy community.

Dr. Schanzer’s books have made unique contributions to the field. He most recently published State of Failure: Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Unmaking of the Palestinian State (Palgrave Macmillan), which argues the main roadblock to Palestinian statehood is not necessarily Israel's intransigence, but the Palestinian Authority's political dysfunction and mismanagement. His 2008 book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine (Palgrave Macmillan), is still the only book on the market that analyzes the internecine conflict between the two most powerful Palestinian factions. His 2004 book, Al-Qaeda's Armies: Middle East Affiliate Groups and the Next Generation of Terror (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), was the first to explore the al-Qaeda franchises of the Middle East.  More recently, Dr. Schanzer co-authored a monograph in 2010 with FDD’s executive director Mark Dubowitz titled, Palestinian Pulse: What Policymakers Can Learn From Palestinian Social Media (FDD Press).  Using proprietary technology, this study collected data from thousands of Arabic language websites to reveal the trends, thoughts, and perceptions of Palestinians online, with a focus on those that could impact current U.S. policies. In 2012, he co-authored another cutting edge study, using the same technology, with FDD researcher Steven Miller titled, Facebook Fatwa: Saudi Clerics, Wahhabi Islam and Social Media (FDD Press). This cutting edge study explores the way in which Saudi religious figures disseminate their messages to the wider Muslim world.

Dr. Schanzer has testified before Congress and publishes widely in the American and international media.  He has appeared on American television channels such as Fox News and CNN, and Arabic language television channels such as al-Arabiyya and al-Jazeera. Dr. Schanzer has traveled widely throughout the Middle East, including Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories. He speaks Arabic and Hebrew.

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Turkey Has Been Reckless, Repressive and Unreliable

29th March 2016 – The New York Times

Turkey Has Been Reckless, Repressive and Unreliable

Jonathan Schanzer

When then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last visited Washington in 2013, he received the full “valued ally” treatment, including an appearance with President Obama in the White House Rose Garden. more...

Analysis & Commentary

5th May 2016 – Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

A key NATO ally in the Middle East is now closer than ever to ‘one-man rule’

Jonathan Schanzer

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu resigned from his position on Thursday as tensions with the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reached a tipping point over a new constitution that would alter the country's political system. more...

3rd May 2016 – Quoted by The Tower

Expert: West’s Blind Eye to Abbas’ Corrupt Dictatorship is Undermining Palestinian Statehood

Grant Rumley, Jonathan Schanzer

The West’s refusal to challenge the growing corruption and autocratic rule of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “could have a devastating effect on the long- prospects for a viable Palestinian state,” Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote Monday in Newsweek. more...

22nd April 2016 – Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS

As Israel asserts Golan control, the move is a civil war’s one point of agreement

Jonathan Schanzer

With Syria’s civil war raging on in its sixth year, neighboring Israel has largely managed to keep a comfortable distance from the bloody conflict, in no small part thanks to the Jewish state’s strong presence in the strategic Golan Heights—a territory that has belonged to Israel for nearly 50 years, but is considered disputed territory by the international community. After acquiring and defending the Golan in wartime, Israel now faces a diplomatic battle over its control there. more...

21st April 2016 – Sirius XM

The Arlene Bynon Show

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer comments on the U.S.-Saudi relationship under Pres. Obama. more...