One of the most troubling aspects of all the media coverage of an attack on Iran is that it can make a radically destabilizing act of unprovoked war seem like just another policy choice.

I thought of this when I saw a PBS NewsHour segment (3/28/12) that set out to ponder the consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran. PBS reporter Margaret Warner oddly framed Israeli public opinion this way:

Though the Iranian regime has vowed to destroy the Jewish state, recent polls in Israel show only 19 percent would support their government attacking Iran unilaterally.

Hearing that, you might wonder why there's a segment of Israeli society that doesn't support their own self-defense. It's not clear what Iranian vow Warner might be talking about (presumably not their pledge to not develop nuclear weapons). It's possibly a reference to the contested translation of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comment about wiping Israel "off the map." Or it could be a reference to more recent comments from Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He called Israel a "cancerous tumor" in February, and vowed to support those fighting Israel. Given that the Israeli government is openly speaking about the need to attack Iran sooner rather than later, and does not exactly deny a role in the killings of Iranian scientists, one could just easily be talking about Israeli belligerence. But that's rarely the subject.

When War Is in the Air on PBS | FAIR Blog