Israeli Takes Judo World Championship Gold

A resident of Netanya, Israel, Yarden Gerbi, born July 8, 1989, began training in judo at age 6.

30Last night, Yarden Gerbi has brought home the gold in the Rio De Janeiro judo championship. When Hatikva started playing, Yarden burst into tears, minutes after, in her final bout, she had made her French opponent pass out.

In an unprecedented achievement for Israeli judo, Yarden Gerbi on Thursday night won the Rio De Janeiro, Brazil judo world championship in her weight category (139 lbs.). This is the highest ranking ever in international championships for an Israeli athlete.

The 24-year-old judo champ proved last night why she is the no. 1-ranked judoka (judo practitioners), defeating unconditionally every one of her 5 opponents.

By the end of her victorious night, having beaten No. 2-ranked Clarisse Agbegnenou of France—who passed out, literally, in less than one minute—Yarden stepped up to the top of the podium and burst into tears when the national anthem Hatikva began to play.

Click here for full article.

The ‘sort of terrifying’ infographic Israel’s embassy created to show all the threats the country faces

Threats from the north, south, east, west, from nearby and from afar. That’s the gist of an alarming map graphic that the Israeli Embassy in the U.S. posted this week.

“Some may say the map is alarmist,” the embassy said in a community post on BuzzFeed. “Undeniably, the map is our geopolitical reality, and we will be vigilant in protecting our people and our borders.”

“Threats Facing Israel, Explained In One (Sort Of Terrifying) Map,” reads the headline.

Threats Facing IsraelText on the map describes the myriad of threats: terror organization Hezbollah’s arsenal of 70,000 rockets in Lebanon which Israel says can hit all parts of Israel; Syria, where President Bashar Assad’s army possesses chemical weapons and ballistic missiles and where global radical Islamists are now also amassing; Gaza, where Hamas possesses 10,000 rockets; the West Bank where radical forces oppose Palestinian Authority rule; and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt which has become a lawless magnet for Al Qaeda-linked groups.

“And, as attention in the Middle East jumps from one hotspot to another, the public is losing sight of the greatest threat to international peace and security: Iran’s military nuclear program,” the embassy said. “Iran is developing its breakout capacity by stockpiling large quantities of low enriched uranium, expanding its ability to swiftly enrich uranium, and advancing a parallel plutonium track.”

The embassy calls the Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons “an unprecedented threat.”

AP sources: Intelligence on weapons no ‘slam dunk’

Syria_01_1549283aThe intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged chemical weapons attack that killed at least 100 people is no “slam dunk,” with questions remaining about who actually controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons stores and doubts about whether Assad himself ordered the strike, U.S. intelligence officials say.

President Barack Obama declared unequivocally Wednesday that the Syrian government was responsible, while laying the groundwork for an expected U.S. military strike. “We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out,” Obama said in an interview with “NewsHour” on PBS. “And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.”

However, multiple U.S. officials used the phrase “not a slam dunk” to describe the intelligence picture — a reference to then-CIA Director George Tenet’s insistence in 2002 that U.S. intelligence showing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was a “slam dunk” — intelligence that turned out to be wrong.

U.S. & Syria: Glenn Beck’s dire warning, “this is World War III in the making”

Glenn Beck warned America in the strongest of terms on Tuesday that military intervention in Syria could lead to World War III, with the United States squaring off against China, Russia and Iran.

Beck’s warning came as Secretary of State John Kerry said it is “undeniable” that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, something President Barack Obama has called a “red line” that would change our approach to the nation’s civil war.

“I learned my lesson [in Iraq], he didn’t,” Beck said.  “[John Kerry is] now going to repeat exactly the same thing.”

But unlike with Iraq, when it was asserted that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destructionand was a clear and present threat to the United States, Beck said he hasn’t heard the second part of that case made yet. If anything, it can be argued that intervention is what poses the threat.

“Why?” Beck asked. “Because today Russia and now China have added their name to the list of, ‘Don’t do anything in Syria.’  So now we have Russia, Iran and China telling us, ‘mind your own business.’”

Unless the U.S. is willing to get into World War III against the aforementioned powers and poke “another hornet’s nest” of Islamic extremism, Beck said, you have to be “out of your mind” to intervene.

“We don’t survive that,” he said.

“You go against China, who buys all of our debt?” he asked, adding that Russia has already begun turning arms shipments from America to the Middle East.

“Don’t screw with this,” he said.  “This is World War III in the making.”

Watch the entire segment below:

NYPD designates mosques as terrorism organizations

That is the correct strategy since four separate studies all found that 80% of U.S. mosques were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians. There are no countervailing studies that challenge these results. In 1998, Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, a Sufi leader, visited 114 mosques in the United States. Then he gave testimony before a State Department Open Forum in January 1999, and asserted that 80% of American mosques taught the “extremist ideology.”

Then there was the Center for Religious Freedom’s 2005 study, and the Mapping Sharia Project’s 2008 study. Each independently showed that upwards of 80% of mosques in America were preaching hatred of Jews and Christians and the necessity ultimately to impose Islamic rule.

And in the summer of 2011 came another study showing that only 19% of mosques in U.S. don’t teach jihad violence and/or Islamic supremacism.

“NYPD designates mosques as terrorism organizations,” from the AP, August 28:

NEW YORK (AP) – The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance.

Since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen “terrorism enterprise investigations” into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.

Many TEIs stretch for years, allowing surveillance to continue even though the NYPD has never criminally charged a mosque or Islamic organization with operating as a terrorism enterprise.

The documents show in detail how, in its hunt for terrorists, the NYPD investigated countless innocent New York Muslims and put information about them in secret police files. As a tactic, opening an enterprise investigation on a mosque is so potentially invasive that while the NYPD conducted at least a dozen, the FBI never did one, according to interviews with federal law enforcement officials.

Click here for full article.

Hannity: US-Syria situation could start ‘the next World War’ [AUDIO]

Hannity827-e1377635803857Conservative talker Sean Hannity said he sees the impending U.S. conflict in Syria as something that could potentially boil over into something much larger than just isolated action to prevent the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons — a World War.

“We’re going to look back through the prism of history, and we’re going to define this era as the rise of the radical Islamist,” Hannity said. “I am telling you it is true — and you’re seeing the formation now of what could very potentially be the next World War, because it’s not just the Middle East that is radicalized. I mean, the eventuality is Israel is going to face a moment like this at some point because all of its neighbors — you got Sunni, Shia — they’re all aligned in their hatred towards Israel. Israel has heretofore since its formation in 1941, the U.N. partition plan — they were attacked the very next day. They’ve been attacked in ’67, ’73 and there’s been an ongoing low-level proxy war fought by radicals ever since. And that’s why you see thousands of rockets every year fired into Israel.”

Click here for the audio.

One Iranian official has threatened Israel if the U.S. were to attack Syria, and Hannity forecasted a free-for-all of countries lining up and picking sides against Israel.

“At some point, Israel is going to come under fire, and good countries are going to have to come to its defense,” he continued. “But it’s going to be against radical Islam in all of its forms. You can almost see this precipitating it, if in fact the U.S. strikes and Iran get involved and Syria gets involved and you’re going to see countries very quickly go down the middle and start taking sides. It has the potential — it’s a powder keg.”

Hannity went on to refer to the possibility of a U.S. strike at Syria as “therapeutic bombing,” and said he was not convinced it was the right course of action at this time.

Bill O’Reilly battles military experts over U.S. intervention in Syria – and gets double-teamed

Bill O’Reilly made it crystal clear on Tuesday that he supports U.S. intervention in war torn Syria following reports of the regime using chemical weapons. In fact, he actually called opponents of intervention “loons” earlier in the day.

But the TV host found himself double-teamed by two military analysts, Lt. Col. Ralph Peters and Col. David Hunt, who both agree there are still too many unknowns in Syria to justify military action.

Peters argued the U.S. is considering “helping Al Qaeda” to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad, a “murderer.”

“On one side you have Assad, Hezbollah, Iran — horrible people. On the other side, it’s increasingly dominated by Al Qaeda…the team that brought you 9/11. Right now, in Syria, our enemies are killing each other,” he said. “Where in our Constitution does it say we should stop our enemies from killing each other?”

O’Reilly said the situation in Syria is “humanitarian issue” and the violation of the Geneva Convention justifies U.S. action. “If that is allowed to stand, forget about it, it’s going to be used all over the world,” he added.

Hunt pushed back, reminding O’Reilly that it has not been conclusively confirmed that chemical weapons were used or that it was the Assad regime and not the Syrian rebels that used them.

Watch the segment below via Mediaite/Fox News:

Israel ranks 4th globally in health care efficiency

Asian countries claim top three spots; US places 46th; Israelis have longest life span in Middle East and Africa.

The Times of Israel (August 27) — In a new ranking of countries with the most efficient health care, Israel came in fourth, while the US ranked — behind Iran — in 46th position.

The data was compiled by Bloomberg, and countries were ranked based on three criteria: life expectancy; relative per capita cost of health care (percentage of GDP per capita); and the absolute per capita cost of health care (expenditures covering preventive and curative services, family planning, nutrition and emergency aid).

The countries included had populations of at least five million, life expectancy of at least 70 years and GDP per capita of at least $5,000.

Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan took the top three spots in the rankings. Israel came next.

The UK came 14th, Canada 17th, Iran 45th, and the US 46th.

Israel’s life expectancy is 81.8 years, and health care costs per capita were calculated at $2,426 (or approximately NIS 8,800).

The rankings also noted that Israel has the longest life span in the Middle East and Africa, and that Israelis have the 12th longest retirement in the world (lasting 17.81 years).

By comparison, Americans have a life expectancy of 78.6 years and spend $8,608 (NIS 31,100) in health care costs per capita.

WATCH: The Daily Show’s best Jewish moments

Since it’s the time of year for apologies, we’d like to offer up a sincere sorry for missing this gem of a video the folks at the Daily Show posted last week.

“The Best of Jon Stewart – A Salute to Jewish People” comes just in time, not only for Rosh Hashanah, but also for Stewart’s return from a summer-long hiatus in the Middle East where he was directing a film.

View video here.

Here are the best news bloopers of August 2013

It’s that time again – time for the best news bloopers of August 2013.

MSNBC provides an unedited expletive, a local news anchor gets mooned by a bystander and a news anchor mom gets surprised by her daughter during a live broadcast in the latest edition of “Best News Bloopers.”

Watch via the NewsBeFunny YouTube channel (Warning: Some strong language):

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Egypt arrests 200 Sinai terrorists in two days

Security forces announce they have destroyed 85% of the peninsula’s smuggling tunnels as well as 30 fuel pumps.

Egyptian military vehicles in the northern Sinai following a July 4, 2013, attack by Islamist gunmen.

Egyptian military vehicles in the northern Sinai following a July 4, 2013, attack by Islamist gunmen.

The Times of Israel (August 26) — Egyptian security forces have arrested over 200 terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula since the beginning of the week, the London-based daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported Monday.

The paper cited military and security officials who said that 85 percent of the smuggling tunnels in Sinai and 30 fuel pumps had been destroyed. Of the 203 people arrested in the preceding 48 hours, approximately 150 were Egyptian citizens, the report said.

After the military overthrow of president Mohammed Morsi in early July, the Egyptian army stepped up its clampdown on the Sinai in an attempt to stem the influx of foreign fighters into the peninsula. Sinai had long been considered a haven for jihadi fighters who used it as a base for terror activity against Egypt and Israel.

The Muslim Brotherhood has denied playing a part in the escalating violence since Morsi was ousted, but one of the group’s leaders was quoted by the Russian outlet RIA Novosti as saying that insurgent attacks would end as soon as “the legitimate president” is freed from detention.

According to Egyptian intelligence, there were at least 500 armed extremists operating in the peninsula at the end of July, Al Ahram reported.

Violence in the Sinai has been spilling over into Israel in recent years. On August 9, Israel briefly shut down the main airport in the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, which sits close to the Egyptian border, out of fear of an attack from the Sinai. A rocket attack the following week was aimed at the city, but the projectile was intercepted by an Iron Dome battery.

According to Egyptian security, the bulk of Sinai terror activity has been based in El-Arish, Sheikh Zweid and southern Rafah.

How bad could Syria get? What Israelis are flocking to snatch up could be a clue

The Blaze (August 26) — As U.S. and Western top generals meet in the Middle East Monday to deliberate their next move, Israelis are flocking to distribution centers to pick up gas masks, fearing Syrian retaliation should the regime of President Bashar Assad be attacked.

Israel’s Postal Authority, which is responsible for handing out civilian gas masks, reported a three-fold increase in home delivery orders of chemical weapons kits which include gas masks and a nerve gas antidote.

An Israeli soldier helps a citizen fit a gas mask

An Israeli soldier helps a citizen fit a gas mask

According to Israeli Home Front Command figures, only 60% of Israelis have collected their protective kits in the distribution campaign which has continued for several years, though in the north of the country, a larger percentage possesses the kits, 69 percent in Haifa and 72 percent in Nahariya.

Syria’s Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi over the weekend warned the Middle East would turn into “a ball of fire that would burn not only Syria but the whole Middle East” if the U.S. were to launch a military strike.

“The most dangerous regimes in the world must not be allowed to possess the most dangerous weapons in the world,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, apparently drawing a parallel with Iran, which Israel believes is working to develop nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu also voiced a veiled warning should Syria be considering a retaliatory attack on Israel. “…Our finger must always be on the pulse,” Netanyahu said. “Ours is a responsible finger and if necessary, it will also be on the trigger.”

“We will always know to defend our people and our state against whoever attacks us, tries to attack us or has attacked us,” the Israeli Prime Minister said.

Israel’s Channel 2 is quoting Israeli military sources who say they do not believe that Syria will launch a military attack on Israel were it to face a U.S. strike. “Israel’s estimation is that Assad would not retaliate against Israel” but that precautions were being taken nonetheless, Channel 2 reported, as quoted by the Times of Israel.

Click here for full article.

Related: “Netanyahu to spend another $350 million so every Israeli has gas mask,” March 31, 2013.

Will Smith’s family reaction sums up Miley Cyrus’ VMAs performance

If you’re tuned into pop culture (and maybe even if you’re not), you know that ex-Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus gave an eye-popping, gasp-inducing, slack-jaw-prompting, confounding performance at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night.

And that’s just the reaction from Will Smith’s family.

Smith-family-Miley

Miley Cyrus performs — before stripping down to far less clothing — during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 25, 2013.

Miley Cyrus performs — before stripping down to far less clothing — during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 25, 2013.

To see exactly what went down during Cyrus’ clothes-ripping, raunchfest performance with Robin Thicke, watch below (content warning: the following passed MTV’s censors, but might not pass yours):

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U.S. forces move closer to aiding al-Qaeda in Syria

“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of” —New York Times, April 28, 2013

Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda — USA Today, April 11, 2013

“US forces move closer to Syria as options weighed,” by Bradley Klapper and Robert Burns for the Associated Press, August 24:

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. naval forces are moving closer to Syria as President Barack Obama considers military options for responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad government. The president emphasized that a quick intervention in the Syrian civil war was problematic, given the international considerations that should precede a military strike.

The White House said the president would meet Saturday with his national security team to consider possible next steps by the United States. Officials say once the facts are clear, Obama will make a decision about how to proceed.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declined to discuss any specific force movements while saying that Obama had asked the Pentagon to prepare military options for Syria. U.S. defense officials told The Associated Press that the Navy had sent a fourth warship armed with ballistic missiles into the eastern Mediterranean Sea but without immediate orders for any missile launch into Syria.

U.S. Navy ships are capable of a variety of military action, including launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, as they did against Libya in 2011 as part of an international action that led to the overthrow of the Libyan government….

77% of terror plots are motivated by Islamic jihad doctrine

And 20% by neo-Nazis and the like. From the media coverage accorded to each threat, one would think those percentages would be reversed. “Counterterrorism Expert: Threat of Homegrown Terror Has Escalated,” by Ellison Barber for the Washington Free Beacon, August 16:

The threat of homegrown terrorism has escalated in recent years, a counterintelligence and counterterrorism official said on Wednesday.

“To give you a sense of how big this thing is, and I’m only tracking the people and plots when somebody is arrested and charges are made. … Turns out now we’re up to 148 plots and 398 people,” David Major, a counterintelligence adviser to President Ronald Reagan and founder of the CI Centre, said at the International Spy Museum.

Homegrown or domestic terrorism is not confined to radical Islamists, Major said. Aaron Greene and Morgan GliedmanOperation Backfire, or the shooting at the Wisconsin Sikh temple show terrorists run the gamut of ideologies.

However, as a society we tend to focus on the acts perpetrated by Islamic extremists. Critics have questioned the practicality of this, but Major says it is a logical focus.

The majority of the 148 plots were motivated by Caliphate doctrine, a term for the ideology of Islamist groups such as al Qaeda, Major told theWashington Free Beacon.

Citing research from his institution, Major noted “114 plots or 77 percent of them are self-identified Caliphate plots,” and “about 20 percent” are groups such as “neo-Nazis, anarchists, the anti-government groups.”

Caliphate doctrine is based on a return to the rule of the first four caliphs, who were considered the “perfect” caliphs. It is described as the core narrative of al Qaeda today.

A senior fellow at the Brookings Institute wrote al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists look at this period as “a model for what Islam should seek to revive, a caliphate that can unite the Islamic world or at least a large part of it, drive out the West, and be a player on the international political stage.”

Click here for full article.