Israel and its conflict with Hamas and Hezbollah; The Connections between Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria; Israeli Deterrence; Israel's Security Paradigm in the New Middle East
Rafael D. Frankel is an international relations Ph.D. candidate at Georgetown University and an international business development consultant. His research focuses on deterrence of Hamas and Hezbollah and he teaches a course at Georgetown on the conflict between Israel and those Islamist militant organizations.
Previous to his studies, Mr. Frankel was a freelance foreign correspondent for nine years, living and working in the Middle East (4 years), Southeast Asia (4.5 years), and South America (4 months). Mr. Frankel reported mainly, but not exclusively, for the American press, including: MSNBC, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic online and The San Francisco Chronicle. Among the major stories Mr. Frankel covered were the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War, Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and its aftermath, the 2004 Asian Tsunami, and the 2003 crackdown in Burma on democracy activists associated with Nobel Peace-Prize Laureate Ang Sun Suu Kyi.
Since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Mr. Frankel has traveled to the territory eleven times on reporting assignments. Most recently, he reported from Gaza in the summer of 2011 on the changing political positions and internal dynamics within Hamas. He also covered the 2011 summer protests in Israel for The Atlantic online.
Mr. Frankel holds an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University where he served as the president of the Middle East and North Africa Forum and as a teaching assistant to then professor and now Israeli Ambassador Michael B. Oren. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California Santa Cruz where he worked as the editor-in-chief and production manager of the student newspaper, City on a Hill Press.
Mr. Frankel was awarded the Edward Weintal Fellowship by the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (2007-2009) for his master’s degree studies. He was also awarded a Rumsfeld Fellowship (2009-2013) and a Schusterman Israel Scholar Fellowship (2012-2013) during his Ph.D. studies. In undergraduate school, he won two individual and two team awards for collegiate news reporting.
Mr. Frankel speaks Hebrew, Thai, and Spanish and is originally from Chico, California.