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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, Israel, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Intelligence Community, Palestinian Politics, Iran, Iran - Energy

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 Kings College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

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 Kings College London, where he wrote his dissertation on the U.S. Congress and its efforts to combat terrorism in the 20th century.

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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Hamas’s Benefactors: A Network of Terror

9th September 2014 – House Committee on Foreign Affairs

Hamas’s Benefactors: A Network of Terror

Jonathan Schanzer

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Deutch, Ranking Member Sherman, and distinguished members of these subcommittees, on behalf of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, I thank you for the opportunity to discuss with you today the state sponsors of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. more...

Analysis & Commentary

15th September 2014 – Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

Who Are These ‘Moderate’ Syrians Obama Wants to Pit Against ISIS?

Jonathan Schanzer

There were few modern democrats among the armed opposition to Assad two years ago. There are far fewer now. So who can Obama trust not to turn Western-supplied weapons against us later? more...

14th September 2014 – Quoted by Ron Kampeas - JTA.org

Why Does Qatar Support Hamas?

Jonathan Schanzer

It was the first Persian Gulf state to establish ties with Israel, the first to welcome Israeli students and the only one to allow direct dialing to Israel. Israeli athletes shine on its courts. more...

13th September 2014 – Fox News

America’s News HQ

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD Vice President for Research Jonathan Schanzer reacts to breaking news on the latest action from the Islamic State. more...

10th September 2014 – Quoted by Ben Cohen - JNS

The Danger of Depending on Turkey

Jonathan Schanzer

Here’s the good news: the Obama administration has finally grasped that the onslaught of the Islamic State terror group through Iraq and Syria needs to be defeated and destroyed. more...