Jonathan Schanzer
Jonathan Schanzer
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Terror on the Cheap: Paris Attacks Required Little Funding

November 15, 2015  •  FDD Policy Brief

The U.S. government imposed sanctions on two French citizens in September for their ties to the Islamic State. One of them, Emilie Konig, who traveled to Syria in 2012 to fight for IS, "directed individuals in France to attack French government institutions." It is unknown whether Friday's Paris attacks are connected to this in any way. But even if there is a connection, traditional terror finance tools, such as designations, do little to counter this kind of attack.

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Iran's Power Projection Capability

November 5, 2015  •  House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security

Chairman DeSantis, Ranking Member Lynch, members of this subcommittee on national security, on behalf of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, thank you for the opportunity to testify.

I will focus my testimony today on Iran's ability to project power through the financing of its proxies around the Middle East, including terrorist groups, destabilizing insurgencies, and rogue regimes. To be clear, Iran has long maintained these capabilities. Deploying these dangerous forces has been a crucial source of regional power for the Islamic Republic dating back to its founding. More recently, this strategy has figured prominently in Iran's plans for regional hegemony.

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The Iran Deal: Persisting Problems

October 27, 2015  •  National Review Online

Last Sunday, Iran and the P5+1 countries (the U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia, and Germany) formally adopted the new nuclear agreement concluded this summer. In coming days, under the terms of the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Islamic Republic is obliged to begin implementing a series of curbs on its nuclear program.

There is good reason to believe that it will do so in the near term, because the scope of the sanctions relief contained within the JCPOA is enormous — equivalent to a quarter of Iran's total economy. As such, complying with the terms of the deal makes good economic sense for Iran's ayatollahs, at least for the moment.

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Why Hamas Has Not Unleashed Violence From Gaza

October 26, 2015  •  WSJ Think Tank

Israel's internal security services, the Shin Bet, said earlier this month that the Palestinian militant group Hamas is among the key drivers of the violence raging in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The group's leader, Ismail Haniyeh, has called for an intifada, or uprising. Yet, he hasn't unleashed Hamas' huge arsenal of rockets or its trained fighting forces from the Gaza Strip, the territory he controls. Hamas has one foot in the uprising and one foot out.

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Warming Ties Between Hamas and South Africa

October 23, 2015  •  FDD Policy Brief

The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas sent a delegation to South Africa earlier this week. The delegation, led by head of Hamas' politburo Khaled Meshal and his deputy Mousa Abu Marzouk, met with senior officials from the African National Congress (ANC), including South African president Jacob Zuma. The ANC reportedly signed a "letter of intent" with Hamas to build a long-lasting relationship with the organization. The Israeli government expressed "shock and outrage" over the visit.

While Israel's outrage may be understandable, its shock is misplaced. Pretoria has been building ties with Hamas for years.

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Books by Jonathan Schanzer

Cover of State of Failure Cover of Facebook Fatwa Cover of Palestinian Pulse Cover of Hamas vs. Fatah Cover of Al-Qaeda's Armies


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