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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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The Third Lebanon War

18th July 2016 – FDD Press

The Third Lebanon War

Tony Badran, Jonathan Schanzer, David Daoud

In August 2015, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released its first-ever public strategy paper, highlighting the complex challenges to Israel’s national security. Notably, it was not Iran’s nuclear program nor its ballistic missile development that ranked as the greatest threats to Israel, but rather its regional clients and proxies. Chief among those was the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. One year later that assessment still held, with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Gadi Eizenkot declaring that Hezbollah was the IDF’s “main enemy,” posing “the most serious threat to Israel.” more...

Analysis & Commentary

27th July 2016 – Quoted by Nahal Toosi - Politico

Turkey tries to trap Obama with extradition demand

Jonathan Schanzer

Is President Barack Obama willing to damage America’s relationship with a critical NATO ally over the fate of an elderly Muslim man living in the Poconos? more...

27th July 2016 – Quoted by The Tower

Dem VP Nominee, Bipartisan Group of Senators Urge More Funding for Israel’s Missile Defense

Jonathan Schanzer

A bipartisan group of senators has signed a public letter urging the Senate Armed Services Committee to include an additional $320 million for Israeli missile defense systems in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets the Pentagon’s annual budget. more...

26th July 2016 – Quoted by Shiri Moshe - The Tower

Retired IDF General: Global Powers Must Act to Ensure Hezbollah Cannot Start Major War

Jonathan Schanzer, Tony Badran

The international community must use diplomatic and economic efforts to confront Hezbollah before it instigates another conflict with Israel, one that is likely to be much worse than the 2006 Lebanon War, a retired Israeli general said Monday. more...

25th July 2016 – Quoted by The Tower

Report: Next War with Hezbollah Could Cause “Thousands of Civilian Deaths” in Israel

Jonathan Schanzer, Tony Badran, David Daoud

Israeli officials believe that a future war with Hezbollah, with its advanced Iranian-supplied rocket arsenal, could lead to “thousands of civilian deaths,” a white paper published by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies revealed. more...