Roberto Abraham Scaruffi: September 2009

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

today's cartoon

From the Cartoonist Group.

RFE/RL Headlines
RFE/RL Headlines
9/30/2009 5:39:03 PM
A daily digest of the English-language news and analysis written by the staff of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty


Iran 'On The Wrong Side Of The Law,' IAEA Chief Says Iran 'On The Wrong Side Of The Law,' IAEA Chief Says
Iran broke a transparency law of the UN nuclear watchdog by failing to disclose much earlier a nuclear plant being built for uranium enrichment, IAEA Director-General Muhammad el-Baradei said in a televised interview. More
From Our Bureaus

Former Czechoslovak Spy At RFE/RL Sentenced For Fraud
A former Czechoslovakia spy who planned bomb attacks against RFE/RL's headquarters in Munich has been given a six-year jail term for insurance fraud, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports. More
Turkmenistan Honors St. Petersburg Governor Turkmenistan Honors St. Petersburg Governor
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has bestowed an honorable order upon St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko during her visit to the Turkmen capital Ashgabat, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports. More
First Ukrainian Cosmonaut Dies
The first Ukrainian cosmonaut, Pavlo Popovich, has died, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports. More
Belarusian Police Detain Activist For Distributing Leaflets Belarusian Police Detain Activist For Distributing Leaflets
The leader of the United Civic Party's branch in the eastern Belarusian city of Homel has been detained, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports. More
Mediators For Karabakh Press For Armenian-Azeri Summit Mediators For Karabakh Press For Armenian-Azeri Summit
International mediators say they will visit Armenia and Azerbaijan soon to prepare for the next meeting of the two countries' presidents, which they hope will pave the way for a framework peace accord on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More
Turkey Again Links Armenia Ties With Karabakh Peace Turkey Again Links Armenia Ties With Karabakh Peace
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again linked the normalization of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia with an acceptable resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More
Kazakh Weekly Offers Bank Debt Cancellation To Pay Fine Kazakh Weekly Offers Bank Debt Cancellation To Pay Fine
The independent Kazakh weekly "Respublika" is offering the BTA Bank a mutual cancellation of debts in order to pay off a court ordered fine for libel, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports. More
Moscow Police Arrest Suspects In Daghestani Official's Killing Moscow Police Arrest Suspects In Daghestani Official's Killing
Moscow's Cheremushinsky Court has arrested two men suspected of involvement in the killing of a Daghestani official, RFE/RL's Russian and North Caucasus services report. More
Moldovan Premier Wants 'Clear EU Perspective,' Financial Aid Moldovan Premier Wants 'Clear EU Perspective,' Financial Aid
New Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat has asked the European Union to offer Moldovans "a clear perspective for joining the EU," RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports. More
Armenian Parties Join Forces To Fight Turkey Plan Armenian Parties Join Forces To Fight Turkey Plan
Two of Armenia's leading opposition parties will join forces to protest the proposed Turkish-Armenian agreement aimed at normalizing relations between the two countries, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More
Kazakh Official Urges Patience In Case Of Jailed Activist Kazakh Official Urges Patience In Case Of Jailed Activist
Kazakhstan is calling for an end to international pressure over the case of jailed human rights activist Yevgeny Zhovtis, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports. More
U.S. Preparing Large Aid Package For Moldovan Farmers U.S. Preparing Large Aid Package For Moldovan Farmers
U.S. Ambassador to Moldova Asif J. Chaudhry says the agricultural sector in Moldova could receive as much as $260 million in aid from the U.S. government, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports. More
Pastor Of Belarusian Evangelical Church Faces Trial Pastor Of Belarusian Evangelical Church Faces Trial
The pastor of the New Life Evangelical Christian Church in Minsk will go to trial on September 30, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports. More
Iraqi School Year Begins With Classroom Shortages Iraqi School Year Begins With Classroom Shortages
Iraqi Education Ministry officials say dilapidated schools, overcrowded classrooms, and a lack of funds are the major challenges as the school year started for millions of children on September 27, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports. More
KyrgyzGaz Says It Can't Repay Debt To Uzbekistan KyrgyzGaz Says It Can't Repay Debt To Uzbekistan
KyrgyzGaz head Salamat Aytikeev says the energy company is unable to pay Kyrgyzstan's natural gas debt to Uzbekistan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports. More

Old Style, New Message Old Style, New Message
The style is pure Soviet agitprop. But the message is something new. In 2003, Mongolian high-school students were invited to submit poster designs for an anti-corruption campaign. More
Like Father, Like Daughter Like Father, Like Daughter
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon's daughter, Ozoda Rahmonova, was appointed deputy foreign minister after two years in the ministry's consular division. More

No Winners No Winners
An international report into the causes of the 2008 Russian-Georgian war suggests that both parties share the blame for the long-simmering conflict. But the report's conclusion that Georgia started the hostilities means that Russia seems to have achieved its main objective for this round in the post-war standoff. More
Pressure On Iran Grows Ahead Of Talks With UN Pressure On Iran Grows Ahead Of Talks With UN
Iran's top nuclear negotiator meets on October 1 with officials from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. The P5+1 meeting in Geneva comes amid international concern about the build-up of a covert Iranian nuclear program -- and ongoing suspicions that Iran is secretly trying to build nuclear weapons. More
Obama, Top Officials Meeting To Iron Out Afghan Strategy Obama, Top Officials Meeting To Iron Out Afghan Strategy
The top ranks of the White House's national security team meet today to discuss with President Barack Obama a request for 40,000 more troops in Afghanistan by U.S. and NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal. More
IMF Puts Lower Price Tag On Total Crisis Losses IMF Puts Lower Price Tag On Total Crisis Losses
$3.4 trillion. According to the IMF, that's the likely extent of total losses arising from the global economic crisis. Staggering though the figure is, it's actually lower than the International Monetary Fund's last estimate. More
Moscow Snubs European Rights Court On Chechnya Moscow Snubs European Rights Court On Chechnya
Human Rights Watch has accused Russia of repeatedly ignoring decisions by the European Court of Human Rights on Chechnya. The U.S.-based rights group said in a report released this week that Russia's failure to investigate and punish abuses under the court's rulings is fueling "unchecked violence" in the North Caucasus. More

Could Iran Trigger A New Cuban Missile Crisis? Could Iran Trigger A New Cuban Missile Crisis?
Jamsheed K. Choksy suggests the U.S. government could, in a worst-case scenario, live with a nuclear Iran; but could it politically accept another nuclear-weapons-wielding country in the Americas? More

RFE/RL Loses Respected Radio Farda Colleagues RFE/RL Loses Respected Radio Farda Colleagues
Two of the youngest and brightest faces of RFE/RL's Persian-language broadcaster died this week in a car crash, while another is battling grave injuries. More

Mexico: Emergence of an Unexpected Threat

Mexico: Emergence of an Unexpected Threat

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Global Security and Intelligence Report

By Scott Stewart - News from Voice of America

To listen or watch one of our programs or to read more visit our website at


Here are today's top stories from VOA Africa:

International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo in The Hague, Netherlands, 04 Mar 2009 Kenyans Welcome ICC Decision on Post-Election Violence
ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo to open cases against senior Kenyan officials

Conakry, Guinea UN Security Council Concerned About Guinea
Scores of protesters killed Monday during an anti-government rally in Conakry

Amnesty International report on rape and sexual assault among Darfuri women refugees Darfur Women Refugees at High Risk of Rape in Chad Audio Clip Available
Amnesty international report warns of widespread insecurity in and outside of refugee camps

Aaron Ringera (File photo) Kenyan Anti-Corruption Chief Forced to Resign
Aaron Ringera resigns amid wave of public, political pressure

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chairs the U.N. Security Council, 30 Sep 2009 UN Security Council Calls for Appointment of Special Representative on Sexual Violence
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chaired Wednesday's meeting, which came on last day of US's presidency of council

Work continues at Soccer City Stadium on edge of Soweto, south of Johannesburg, 30 Sep 2009<br /> Officials say South Africa Will be Ready for 2010 Audio Clip Available
Overall consensus of experts is that country's preparations for 2010 FIFA football (soccer) World Cup are well on track

Leftist union members and students shout slogans during a protest against the policies of the IMF and WB in Istanbul, Turkey, 30 Sep 2009 Aid Agency Calls for New Global Economic Agenda Audio Clip Available
Christian Aid says world leaders need to rethink trade policies in the developing world as liberalization, privatization, and deregulation are not always suited to developing economies

Logo of the World Health Organization at WHO headquarters in Geneva More Than 4 Million HIV-Positive People Receiving Life-Saving Treatment
New report launched by WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF finds greatest progress being made in sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of all HIV infections occur

Farming Prospects Good for Africa Agriculture Audio Clip Available
FAO credits favorable policies, higher commodity prices and better technology

Map of Gabon AFRICOM Begins Training in Gabon Audio Clip Available
Africa Endeavor program seeks to improve communications between African armies

HomeVideoMP3 RadioNewsNews BriefsIsrael PicsOpinionJudaism
Wednesday, Sep 30 '09, Tishrei 12, 5770
Today`s Email Stories:
IAF Pilots Destroy Gaza Tunnels
Britain Refuses to Arrest Barak
The Goldstone Standard: Fiction
Gov't, Get Your Act Together!
Montreal vs. Rebbe's Picture
Visiting Mahane Yehuda Market
More Website News:
Christian Zionist Feast in J'lem
Anti-Semitism in Edison, NJ
New Head to Help Expellees
Terrorists Wound Jew in Samaria
New Coop Has Birds Singing
Video: Fatah, Hamas Agree on Kidnaps
MP3 RadioWebsite News Briefs:
Talk:The Sukkah's Mystical Powers
The Simchah (Joy) of Sukkot
Music:Yom Hazikaron

1. Israel to Receive Proof Shalit is Alive
by Hana Levi Julian
Israel to Get Proof Shalit Alive

Israel is set to receive proof that kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is still alive, more than three years after he was abducted by Hamas terrorists in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom Crossing. An announcement was made by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in Jerusalem.

In a joint statement issued simultaneously in Jerusalem, Cairo and Gaza, negotiators revealed that Israel will release 20 Palestinian Authority female terrorist prisoners, in exchange for a videotape proving that Gilad Shalit is alive.

"The Security Cabinet has decided to release 20 Palestinian female security prisoners and detainees, in accordance with the proposal by the team responsible for negotiating the release of Gilad Shalit," read the PMO statement. "According to the mediators' proposal, Israel will receive updated and unequivocal proof regarding the well-being and status of Gilad Shalit. Proof that he is alive will be delivered to Israel by the mediators in the form of a recently recorded video tape."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu commended chief negotiator Haggai Hadas and the negotiating team for their professional work far from the public eye, and said, "It is important that the entire world know that Gilad Shalit is alive and well and that Hamas is responsible for his well-being and fate."

According to the PMO, the Security Cabinet decided to respond to the Egyptian initiative as a confidence-building measure in the framework of the indirect negotiations. "All of this is ahead of the decisive stages in the negotiations for Gilad Shalit's release and on the basis of the Government of Israel's determination to bring him back home quickly while upholding the State of Israel's vital interests," the statement said.

The list of women prisoners and detainees designated for release, as well as information about them and the release process, will be made available at the Justice Ministry Pardons Department and will be posted in the coming hours on the Israel Prison Service website, the PMO said.

A senior source in the Prime Minister's Office reports that negotiating team head Haggai Hadas is in continuous contact with the Shalit family and is updating them on all developments. "The negotiations are still expected to be long and arduous," the source said, "We will continue to make determined efforts to bring Gilad back home, safe and sound, as quickly as possible."

2. IAF Pilots Destroy 3 Gaza Smuggler Tunnels
by Hana Levi Julian
IAF Pilots Destroy Gaza Tunnels

The "tit-for-tat war of attrition" has resumed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

PA Arab terrorists are increasing the number of daily attacks against Israeli drivers on the roads of Judea and Samaria, and Gaza terrorists have returned to lobbing one or two Kassam rockets at southern Israel at least several times a week -- with the IAF retaliating by destroying a few smuggler tunnels in retaliation for each attack.

The latest attack came late Tuesday night when the Israel Air Force bombed three smuggler tunnels in southern Gaza, destroying all intended targets. All IDF personnel returned safely to base.

The air strike came as part of the government's stated policy of immediate retaliation for any terror attack foriginating rom Gaza.

One mortar was fired and two rockets were launched by Gaza terrorists at southern Israeli communities earlier Tuesday evening.

One Kassam rocket exploded in an open field belonging to Kibbutz Zikkim, in an area south of Ashkelon. The other rocket landed in the Eshkol region. A mortar shell was fired toward Ashkelon as well.

No one was injured in either attack, and there were no reports of property damage.

Terror Attacks in Judea

Also Tuesday night, Palestinian Authority Arabs hurled rocks at an Israeli bus traveling on the Gush Etzion road near the Judean city of Hevron. No one was injured in the attack.

In addition, Arab terrorists attacked Israeli civilians driving near the Gush Etzion tunnels on the same road. The firebombs hurled by the attackers missed the car, and the intended victims escaped injury, but the vehicle was slightly damaged by the explosions.

Ro'eh: Samaria Attacks 'Due to Removal of Roadblocks'

Binyamin Regional Council Director Avi Ro'eh told reporters Tuesday that a shooting attack that had taken place earlier in the day was the fourth such incident in the region in recent months.

"This attack is the direct result of the removal of security roadblocks," he charged, "a move that has resulted so far, miraculously, only with injuries to Israelies. But we cannot base our defense policies on miracles," he warned.

Unknown gunmen had ambushed an Israeli who was driving on the internal road that connects the Jewish communities of Shilo and Givat Shilo, in the Binyamin region north of Jerusalem. The driver sustained moderate gunshot wounds in the attack and was taken to the hospital, fully conscious.

3. Britain Refuses to Arrest Israeli Defense Minister
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Britain Refuses to Arrest Barak

London court Tuesday evening rejected a petition by 16 Arabs who demanded that authorities arrest Defene Minister Ehud Barak for war crimes he allegedly committed during the three-week Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in Gaza that concluded last January. The judge ruled that the Defense Minister enjoys diplomatic immunity because he is Britain on an official visit.

Earlier in the day, the court said it was postponing the hearing on the petition.

Barak, chairman of the Labor party, attended a British Labor party conference on Tuesday and met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown. His appearance at the conference rubbed salt in the wounds of pro-Arab supporters.

"As a high contracting party to the Geneva Convention, the British government should be arresting Barak for war crimes, not treating him to dinner," said Palestine Solidarity Campaign official Becky Hunter.

To read the rest of this important story, click here!

4. When Goldstone Indicted a Fictional Character (and a Dead Man)
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
The Goldstone Standard: Fiction

Judge Richard Goldstone, whose recent United Nations Human Rights Council investigation purported to find evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, once indicted a fictional Serbian character and a dead man for war crimes as well. As in Gaza, those indictments were also allegedly based on "eyewitness testimony."

Goldstone headed the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY),

The problem for NATO forces in tracking down the serial rapist was that Gruban from Bijelo Polje, also known as Gruban Malic, is a fictional character.

 established by the United Nations in 1993. In 1995, one year into his term as chief ICTY prosecutor, Goldstone presented an indictment of several Serbs for war crimes and crimes against humanity. As brought to light in the weekend edition of the Hebrew-language Makor Rishon newspaper, among those indicted was a man identified as "Gruban".

Gruban, later identified more fully as Gruban from Bijelo Polje, was charged with viciously raping Muslim prisoners in what was identified by the prosecution as essentially a Serbian concentration camp. His crimes were given weight by an anonymous individual identified only as "Witness F", who claimed to have suffered at the hands of the notorious war criminal.

As described by Makor Rishon, "Within just a few months, the black silhouette of 'Gruban' was plastered on a poster of the most wanted war criminals in Bosnia." At the time, Makor Rishon noted, the American newspaper The Boston Globe published an article wondering why the poster of "Gruban" stated that his description, father's name, location and age were all listed as "unknown".

The problem for NATO forces in tracking down the serial rapist was that Gruban from Bijelo Polje, also known as Gruban Malic, is a fictional character from Hero on a Donkey, a famous Serbian novel about World War II by Miodrag Bulatovic.

The Gruban hoax was the result of a conversation in a Bosnian cafe between Yugoslavian war correspondent Nebojsa Jevric and an American journalist desperate to see a "real war criminal", according to Makor Rishon. Jevric identified "Gruban Malic" by name as the Serbian people's "worst war criminal", having committed the most rapes.

After the indictment of "Gruban" became known, Jevric capitalized on his countrymen's bemused fascination with Goldstone's "investigation" and wrote a book called Hero on a Donkey Goes to The Hague. In the book he detailed how his comment to an American reporter took on a life of its own.

In 1998, even after the true identity of the "war criminal" was known, the charges against "Gruban Malic" were officially dropped for lack of evidence by Goldstone's successor. Thirteen other flesh-and-blood Serbs were also taken off the same ICTY indictment docket alongside "Gruban" - including a man that Goldstone indicted several years after he had already died.

5. Gush Katif Commission Orders Govt: 'Get Your Act Together'
by Hillel Fendel
Gov't, Get Your Act Together!

The Supreme Court-appointed commission investigating the government’s treatment of the expelled residents of Gush Katif has issued its interim report. The upshot is that the government, and its various ministries, have not treated the matter with the urgency it demands.

“Taking the families out of their homes, confiscating their properties, cutting off their source of sustenance and detaching the various circles of their lives – all that took less than two weeks,” the report states, “but rehabilitating the families has not yet concluded even now, more than four years later. Even worse, it appears that the end of this process is not even on the horizon.”

“The Prime Minister must enact all the practical measures, with the goal of getting the various government ministries to work immediately and spiritedly. Real content must be poured into the declaration that ‘helping the evacuees is a national mission.’”

Ironically, Netanyahu objected to the Disengagement, and even resigned as Finance Minister in protest. However, many said that he should have taken this position earlier, when it might have made a difference. He explained that he did not resign earlier in order not to endanger his revolutionary economic reforms.

The interim report states that there is no excuse for the fact that public buildings are not being constructed in the new communities, or that negotiations for the relocation of four communities have not been concluded. The committee stated that if contracts on the latter are not signed by Dec. 31 of this year, it will be forced to issue its own opinion on whose fault it is.

Former Justice Eliyahu Matza, who heads the committee, said today, “We felt it appropriate to issue this interim report now to point out the critical problems in terms of rehabilitating the evacuees, in order to give the new government a chance to solve them.”

6. Montreal: Picture of Chabad Rebbe on Taxi Dashboard is Dangerous
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Montreal vs. Rebbe's Picture

A Montreal court this week is to decide if placing a picture of the renowned Lubavitcher Rebbe on the dashboard of city taxicabs endangers passengers. Cabbie Aryeh Perecowicz has appealed to the Human Rights Commission to cancel 1,400 Canadian dollars in fines handed out to him for placing the Rebbe’s picture, as well as a mezuzah and pictures of his family, on his vehicle’s dashboard.

The city’s tax regulatory authority said the objects are dangerous, but Perecowicz countered that all of the items were securely attached to the dashboard and that there was no risk of their causing injury to him or his passengers.

The mezuzahs are affixed to the frames of the front and back doors, although the Torah commandment to place the covered parchment on “the doorposts of your house” does not require them to be placed on temporary or small places.

The 65-year-old cab driver has been handed six tickets for the offenses, which include displaying small Canadian and Israeli flags, but he pointed out that he has been driving for 43 years with the items and without any complaints.

As for the spate of tickets, dating back to almost three years ago, Perecowicz speculated that he might be targeted because he was one of several drivers who publicly complained about the taxi authority’s not acting against unlicensed cabbies. He received his first ticket shortly afterwards.

He told Canadian media, “The bylaw is not exactly clear…. The way it is written, it says 'no object should be left in a taxi that is not required for the cab to be in service.' That can be interpreted into anything you want to think of.

“I am secular but I do have roots and a culture. These items mean something to me and that’s why I’ve always had them in my car.”

Montreal taxi companies said their drivers often display crucifixes and family pictures on the dashboard but that there have been no reports of anyone except Perecowicz being fined.

7. Visiting the Mahane Yehuda Open Air Market
by Shmuel Browns
Visiting Mahane Yehuda Market

You can learn much about a city by exploring its open air market and listening to its stories. By the end of the 19th [secula century Jerusalem was growing, with Jews returning to their homeland. In addition, immigrants from numerous nationalities and religions from Europe, Ethiopia, Turkey, and Russia were also contributing to the urban fabric of the city. New neighborhoods were built outside the walls to alleviate the overcrowding in the Old City.

The Jerusalem neighborhood of Mahane Yehuda was established in 1887 with 162 houses, founded by three business partners: Johannes Frutiger, Joseph Navon, and Shalom Konstrum, and named after Navon’s brother Yehudah. Frutiger was a German Protestant who owned the largest private bank in Palestine; it was he who acquired the license for the Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway with Navon from the Ottoman government.

With new neighborhoods outside the walls of the Old City, Arab merchants began selling goods to save the residents the long walk to the Old City food markets. A market called Beit Yaakov was established on an empty lot owned by the Sephardic Valero family, one of the most influential families and largest landowners in Jerusalem during Ottoman and British rule (1800-1948). Jewish merchants opened stalls there as well. The name of the neighborhood eventually became the name of the market.

During the Ottoman period, the marketplace expanded with no order or plan. By the late 1920s, sanitary conditions had deteriorated so badly that the British ordered the merchants to vacate the area. During the next ten years, the market was transformed into a permanent facility by the British Mandatory Government.

Over the years the market has changed, like the city. New stalls and food stands opened during the 1940s -- but recently, the market again underwent renovations, including a roof over the open areas. It has become gentrified and now there are restaurant-cafes, designer clothes shops, health food stores, artisan bakeries, shops that sell cheeses from all over the world and fine Israeli wines.

The Mahane Yehuda shuk (Hebrew for market) today is an outdoor, covered market (so you can visit even on a rainy day) that sells the traditional fruits and vegetables, grains, beans and spices, fish and meat -- but also halvah, baklava, bread, pastries, chocolate, cheese, salads, olives, house wares, clothes, shoes, flowers, Judaica -- almost anything you could want.

Wide selection at bargain prices

Israel news photo: Shmuel Browns

When you walk around Mahane Yehuda you stimulate all your senses.

Check out the arrangements and colors of the fresh fruit and vegetables; listen to the vendors hawking their wares, Middle Eastern music on CDs, prayers that emanate from the shop turned synagogue on HaEgoz Street; breathe in the fragrance of fresh breads, spices, roasted sunflower seeds; indulge in the free tastes of halvah, new fruit in season, chocolate, cheese, wine. Interact with the vendors, learn their stories!

The market is busiest on Thursday afternoons and Fridays, when many people are buying for the Sabbath -- but if you don’t mind the bustle you’ll revel in the experience of meeting all kinds of different people.

Mahane Yehuda is bounded by Jaffa Road and Agrippas Street. The two main streets of the shuk itself, Mahane Yehuda Street and Eitz Chayim Street run east to west, with the smaller cross streets bearing the names of fruit: Tapuach (Apple), Afarsek (Peach), Agas (Pear), Shezif (Plum), Shaked (Almond), and Tut (Berry) streets. You can find a map of Mahane Yehuda to help you navigate at

Use it to explore the Iraqi shuk and the alleyways between the two main streets.

Even the shopkeeper can't resist the fresh fruits

Israel news photo: Shmuel Browns

Don’t miss the fruit elixirs for what ails you and Yemenite hot sauce (called s’chug), the falafel wrapped in a large pita bread called eish tanur (to see how it’s made visit the HaOfeh bakery on Agrippas Street), the kosher cheeses from around the world and Israel as well as artisan breads, fine wines, imported cider and chocolates. Watch out, because it's easy to spend more than you budgeted. Buy a bottle of Israeli wine (there are more than 200 wineries) from one of the wine shops. The prices are a fraction of what you would pay back home.

Dried fruits and nuts sold by weight

Israel news photo: Shmuel Browns

All this walking and exploring can be tiring, so take a break. Buy freshly-baked bread to go with a selection of Mediterranean salads for a picnic in Gan Sacher. There are a lot of restaurants and cafes where you can sit down, enjoy a meal from traditional Middle Eastern fare like hummus, felafel and shwarma to a full, multi-course meal. Try one of the upscale cafes. Did you know that you can have a Camembert and mushroom sandwich with an endive salad with mint and cider vinaigrette?

Shmuel Browns is a licensed tour guide and creates individual Israeli travel itineraries matched to anyone's interests, time and budget. For more information, click here!