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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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Lying Down With Dogs

20th August 2014 – Foreign Policy

Lying Down With Dogs

Jonathan Schanzer

Israel's Shin Bet security service claimed on Aug. 18 that it thwarted a Hamas-led coup in the West Bank designed to topple Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. more...

Analysis & Commentary

20th August 2014 – Foreign Policy

Lying Down With Dogs

Jonathan Schanzer

Israel's Shin Bet security service claimed on Aug. 18 that it thwarted a Hamas-led coup in the West Bank designed to topple Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. more...

19th August 2014 – Quoted by TheTower.org

Experts: Retire UNRWA, Transfer Responsibility for Gaza to PA

Jonathan Schanzer

Writing in The New Republic yesteday, Alexander Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky, argue that it’s time to retire the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the United Nations (UN) agency solely devoted to the Palestinian cause. more...

19th August 2014 – Quoted by Guy Taylor Maggie Ybarra - The Washington Times

Despite Sanctions Relief, Iran Aids Hamas With Missile Technology

Jonathan Schanzer

When President Obama announced last year the easing of U.S. sanctions on Iran in return for concessions on its nuclear program, he cautiously hailed the deal as a “real opportunity to achieve a comprehensive, peaceful settlement” with Tehran. more...

18th August 2014 – Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

State Dept. Defends Arms Sales to Turkey Despite Hamas Ties

Jonathan Schanzer

The State Department defended missile sales to Turkey just hours after news emerged that Ankara is hosting and abetting a senior Hamas operative who planned to violently overthrow the Palestinian government in the West Bank and wage war on Israel. more...