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Jonathan Schanzer

VP of Research, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Travels from Washington, DC

Availability: Contact JNF Speakers Bureau for availability or contact the speaker directly.



Anti-Terrorism and Security, Middle Eastern and Foreign Affairs


Dr. Schanzer’s books have made unique contributions to the field. 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.

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.

Since joining the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in 2010, Dr. Schanzer has been singularly focused on ensuring that FDD delivers not only accurate and timely research, but 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.  Dr. Schanzer has also worked for several other U.S.-based think tanks: the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Jewish Policy Center, and the Middle East Forum. Dr. Schanzer has studied Middle East history in four countries, and recently 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.

Download a prepared introduction for Jonathan Schanzer jonathan-schanzer.doc

Popular Speeches:

  • Hamas vs. Fatah: The Palestinian Civil War
  • Israel Update: Iran, the Palestinians and the Arab Spring
  • The Iranian Nuclear Threat: Israel's Race Against the Clock
  • Fighting Terrorism Finance: An Insider's Account

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