Jonathan Schanzer
Jonathan Schanzer
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

Kuwait and Oman Are Stuck in Arab No Man's Land

June 14, 2018  •  Foreign Policy

Just over a year ago, four of America's Arab allies — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt — severed relations with Qatar, another key U.S. ally. They enacted a land, sea, and air blockade to punish the tiny emirate for what they claimed was Doha's "embrace of various terrorist" entities. Observers widely thought the diplomatic spat would be patched up within a few months. After all, this was hardly the first time Qatar and its Gulf neighbors had squabbled.

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Oman's Dangerous Double Game

June 11, 2018  •  Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration sought to help Iran cash in on the 2015 nuclear deal, a Republican-led Senate investigation revealed last week. The report also raises questions about the role played by Oman, a strategically located if little-known sultanate.

During the run-up to the deal, administration officials promised that Iran would never get access to the U.S. financial system. But Team Obama was desperate to ensure that Iran, a pariah in the banking community, saw some material benefits from the deal. Among other things, they sought to convert $5.7 billion of Iranian-held Omani rials, a decidedly illiquid currency, into euros.

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Mike Pompeo just gave the Iran speech Kerry should have given

May 21, 2018  •  New York Post

In his first major speech as secretary of state — a searing 20-minute stemwinder — Mike Pompeo on Monday laid out the new US strategy toward Iran, following President Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Pompeo unveiled Washington's plan to deploy intense economic warfare against the Islamic Republic until it halts a wide range of nuclear and non-nuclear activity. But the speech was more than just that; it was the one Pompeo's predecessor, John Kerry, should have delivered in 2013.

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For Gaza's suffering, blame Hamas

May 17, 2018  •  New York Post

Predictably, the recent unrest on the border separating Israel and the Gaza Strip has given way to a banal debate over the "desperation" of the people of Gaza.

There can be no doubt that the people of Gaza are miserable. They have been living under Hamas rule since 2007. Israel has no choice but to treat the territory as hostile, given that Hamas has stated repeatedly and unequivocally that it seeks nothing less than the destruction of the state of Israel.

And it has backed up its words with deeds, launching multiple rocket wars against the Jewish state, accentuated by attempted commando raids by sea or by tunnel.

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Palestinian Nationalism Is at Its Lowest Point Ever

May 15, 2018  •  Tablet

The riots on the border of the Gaza Strip could be the beginning of a new round of Middle East violence. Yet, they are also an indication that Palestinian nationalism is at its lowest point since the "Nakba," the Israeli victory in the 1948-1949 War of Independence.

Palestinians still dream of statehood. But that dream appears increasingly distant, with a divided and feckless Palestinian leadership—Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority in the West Bank—that have both recently suffered debilitating defeats.

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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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