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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

25th August 2016 – FDD Press

Covering the Bases

Covering the Bases

John Cappello, Patrick Megahan, John Hannah, Jonathan Schanzer

The Republic of Turkey has been a reliable staging point for U.S. forces for more than six decades. Turkish bases have historically provided the U.S. military easy access to multiple theaters without having to build new infrastructure or forge new agreements. more...

24th August 2016 – Quoted by The Tower

Ex-Shin Bet Chief: Hezbollah “Learning to Fight on a Large Scale” in Syria, Threatening Israel

Jonathan Schanzer

The Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah is gaining valuable experience while “learning to fight on a large scale” in Syria, a former Shin Bet chief told a visiting delegation of U.S. congressional advisers on Monday, Israel Hayom reported. The warning came just days after Israel uncovered a bag of explosives near the Lebanese border, which security officials believe were smuggled in by Hezbollah. more...

23rd August 2016 – Quoted by Roland Elliott Brown - IranWire

Who Holds the Key to Sanctions Relief?

Jonathan Schanzer

When Iran signed a nuclear agreement last year with the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif hailed the deal as “a triumph of diplomacy.” more...

22nd August 2016 – Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS.org

Will Temple Mount tensions yet again strain Israeli-Jordanian relations?

Jonathan Schanzer

Jordan’s King Abdullah II vowed to fight against repeated violations and attacks carried out by Israel and extremist groups on the Temple Mount complex, according to an interview in the Jordanian daily Ad-Dustour last week. more...