The headline in today's Melbourne Sunday Age screams out:
"ISRAEL DELAYS ACCEPTING UN CEASEFIRE".
The article accompanying the headline suggests that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is deliberately delaying his cabinet's vote on the UN brokered ceasefire agreement and has taken this "risky gambit to allow time for the Israeli army to make last-minute gains on the battlefield".
The authors claim that the "the delay appears likely to cause anger on the world stage".
The inference is that those nasty Israelis are acting in a sneaky and underhanded manner (again). Perhaps like Shylock in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice?
Just for the record, Israel is a Jewish State, the U.N. vote on the ceasefire plan took place just in time for the Jewish sabbath and Israel's cabinet was always going to meet today Sunday.
That fact could be a less conspiratorial reason for the delay and one which doesn't sound all that unreasonable to me after Hizbullah inspired Lebanese objections to the original draft held the vote back for almost a week.
More information that the media appears to have left on its blank pages.
POSTSCRIPT # 1
The Israeli cabinet duly met as planned on Sunday and voted to accept the U.N. ceasefire plan. Secretary General Koffi Annan had already announced that he had spoken to both the Israeli and Lebanese PM's and they had agreed that hostilities would cease at 05:00GMT on Monday 14 August. Even Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah has given his word that his organisation accepts the ceasefire.
The suggestion in the Sunday Age that Israel was delaying acceptance of the cessation of hostilities was clearly misguided and designed to further inflame anti-Israel sentiment.
But will the Sunday Age apologise and publish a retraction?
Yes, but only on the blank pages.
POSTSCRIPT # 2
On the subject of "delay" the Jerusalem Post reports that the Lebanese cabinet has delayed a vital meeting to discuss the implementation of the ceasefire.
Nothing sinister there, we hope?