Speaker: Game-playing drives Middle East

By Stephanie Rebman/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A Tupelo native who has joint citizenship with the United States and Israel brought a snapshot of Middle Eastern politics to Tupelo on Thursday.
Ron Baker, the executive administrator of Bat Kol Institute in Jerusalem, an organization that teaches Christians about their Jewish roots, spoke to the Tupelo Luncheon Civitan Club about the state of the Middle East and what the future likely will bring.
Baker said there are three games being played that are causing turmoil for the region. The first is a waiting game. The second is the “I’m not touching you game” and the third is the concept of “My house is exclusively my house and your house is partially in my house,” Baker said.
The first example of a waiting game can be seen in the Gaza/Israel situation.
“For 10 years they’ve been sending rockets from Gaza into Israel,” he said. “All they have to do is keep Israel on 24-hour alert. When Israelis either run out of energy, they will get what they want, or if they get tired enough, they will make a mistake.”
However, Baker said dictators have been using the strategy for years, of “outwaiting their enemy.”
For the second strategy of “I’m not touching you,” Baker said Arab dictators are a prime example.
“Arab dictators have discovered they don’t have to declare war,” he said. “They just have to make a threat … and wait and wait. And the world’s on alert.”
What is happening with the political turmoil in the Middle East affects everyone in the world, he said, because “colonies” of Muslims are settling all over the world. Muslims in the Middle East are fleeing their homes and setting up in safer locales.
“By 2030, it’s estimated that one out of every four people will be Muslim,” in the U.S. he said. But a concerning figure, he said, is that 3 percent of the Muslim world wants to see the demise of the United States. Three percent isn’t a large figure, but with 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, that 3 percent equals 48 million, he noted.
Baker, 62, was raised Christian and converted to Judaism. He first moved to Israel in 1973, came back to the U.S. for a while and then moved back prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Learn More: FOR MORE information on the Bat Kol Institute in Jerusalem or even to get a lesson on how to speak Hebrew, visit www.batkol.info