A new study of what Palestinians are saying on social networking sites should have the Obama administration worried. According to the study's authors, Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz, the rush to a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is a mistake, especially given these facts: Hamas supporters don't want peace with Israel, fully half of Fatah suporters don't want a negotiated settlement, no one seems to want to challenge Iran's influence and there is little to no Palestinian reform movement to speak of.
The authors stipulate that they don't have a specific measure for how representative the views expressed on Twitter and other social media outlets might be, but they do see the anonimity and freedom of expression offered by these services as a way of seeing key trends in the Palestinian population.
And the key trends the authors uncovered lead them to some disheartening recommendations. Schanzer and Dubowitz warn the administration that a premature push toward a comprehensive settlement may only trigger increased violent radicalism among the Palestinians.