Jonathan Schanzer
Jonathan Schanzer
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Books by Jonathan Schanzer

Cover of Palestinian Pulse

Palestinian Pulse
What Policymakers Can Learn From Palestinian Social Media

by Jonathan Schanzer and Mark Dubowitz
Washington, D.C.: FDD Press, 2010. 83 pp. $9.99
October 19, 2010

In 2005, Washington supported the decision to hold Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006. Decision-makers trusted polling data that all but guaranteed a victory for the secular Fatah faction over Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. In retrospect, this was a grave error; Hamas won the election by a wide margin.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice later admitted, "It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse."

Four years later, amidst a new U.S. drive for Middle East peace, has our ability to gauge Palestinian political sentiment improved? The Foundation for Defense of Democracies commissioned a study, using proprietary software usually deployed on behalf of the U.S. military, to explore the Arabic-language social media websites that are popular among Palestinians. This study reveals the trends, thoughts, and perceptions of Palestinians on a range of issues, with a focus on those that could impact current U.S. policies.

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