Israel Under Attack: Iran-backed Terrorists Launch Deadly Surprise War (Media Exclusive)

Israel Under Attack: Iran-backed Terrorists Launch Deadly Surprise War (Media Exclusive)

October 7, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


On Saturday, October 7, 2023, Israelis awoke to a multi-front, Iran-backed attack on Israel’s southern border. Dozens of Hamas terrorists infiltrated the border and invaded Israeli towns, going door to door killing Israelis and taking hostages back into Gaza to be held as bargaining chips. Simultaneously, terrorists fired thousands of rockets at Israel with Hamas claiming 5,000 rockets launched. Several hours into the attack, residents of southern Israel were still barricaded in their homes waiting for IDF reinforcements.

FDD experts joined an exclusive on-the-record media event to provide their latest analysis. The conversation featured FDD Chief Executive Mark Dubowitz, Senior Vice President Jonathan Schanzer, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power Bradley Bowman, and FDD’s Long War Journal Analyst Joe Truzman. The conversation was moderated by FDD Vice President of Communications Elizabeth Robbins.


Bradley Bowman

Bradley Bowman serves as senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he focuses on U.S. defense strategy and policy. He has served as a national security advisor to members of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, as well as an active duty U.S. Army officer, Black Hawk pilot, and assistant professor at West Point. Bradley spent nearly nine years in the U.S. Senate, including six years as the top defense advisor to Senator Kelly Ayotte, then-senior Republican on the Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee. Bradley also served as national security advisor to Senator Todd Young and worked as a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Bradley served more than 15 years on active duty as a U.S. Army officer, including time as a company commander, pilot, congressional affairs officer on the Army staff in the Pentagon, and staff officer in Afghanistan.

Mark Dubowitz

Mark Dubowitz is the chief executive of FDD. Mark is an expert on Iran’s nuclear program and global threat network, and is widely recognized as one of the key influencers in shaping policies to counter the threats from the regime in Iran. Iran sanctioned Mark and FDD, calling them “the designing and executing arm of the U.S. administration” on Iran policy. These threats led to bipartisan condemnation, including from Trump, Obama, Bush and Clinton administration officials. In 2022, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC accused Mark and FDD of playing “a key role in organizing the rebellions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Jonathan Schanzer

Jonathan Schanzer is senior vice president for research at FDD, where he oversees the work of the organization’s experts and scholars. Jonathan previously 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. He has held previous think tank research positions at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Middle East Forum. Jonathan’s latest book  Gaza Conflict 2021: Hamas, Israel and Eleven Days of War (FDD Press, 2021) challenges and corrects some of the wildly inaccurate news reported during the conflict.

Elizabeth Robbins

Elizabeth Robbins is vice president of communications at FDD. She previously served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Global Public Affairs, where she led public diplomacy and public affairs campaigns to bring attention to the expanding malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party. Before that, she served as the national director of communications for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. A decorated Army officer, Lt. Col. Robbins culminated her distinguished military career as a spokesperson in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she led communications outreach on U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and the effects of sequestration. While in uniform, Beth deployed to Kosovo and Iraq and served as public affairs advisor to two secretaries of the Army.

Joe Truzman

Joe Truzman is a research analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal, focused primarily on Palestinian militant groups and Hezbollah. He also contributes to FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power (CMPP). Joe has assisted non-governmental organizations and policymakers in identifying Palestinian groups and their members. He has served on panels discussing Palestinian militant group activity in Gaza and has provided evidence to investigators at the United Nations on their activities. Joe’s findings have been cited in many news articles around the world. A fluent Spanish speaker, Joe has also conducted interviews on Spanish-language news media outlets.


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