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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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23rd July 2014 – Mentioned by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

Hezbollah Talks Big But Bows Out of the Gaza War

Jonathan Schanzer

Hamas is increasingly isolated in the region as it fights its ferocious war against Israel. In the old days Hezbollah might have helped—but not now. more...

Analysis & Commentary

23rd July 2014 – The Blaze

Egypt’s ‘Not-So-Subtle’ Message to John Kerry

Jonathan Schanzer

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his entourage were forced to undergo a metal detector security screening as they arrived for a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo Tuesday, a message Middle East watchers say is rife with significance, but which the State Department brushed aside. more...

23rd July 2014 – The National Interest

Why Qatar and Turkey Can’t Solve the Crisis in Gaza

David Andrew Weinberg, Jonathan Schanzer

With Washington desperate for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, and with Egypt having flamed out as a broker of calm, two of Hamas’s top patrons are about to be rewarded with a high-profile diplomatic victory. more...

23rd July 2014 – Mentioned by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

Hezbollah Talks Big But Bows Out of the Gaza War

Jonathan Schanzer

Hamas is increasingly isolated in the region as it fights its ferocious war against Israel. In the old days Hezbollah might have helped—but not now. more...

23rd July 2014 – Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Qatar Seeks to Pull Hamas Away from Iran

Jonathan Schanzer

The Gulf Arab state of Qatar, with just over two million people, is playing an outsized role on the world stage these days, dipping its fingers into various conflicts in the region. more...