Developing countries have called out the U.S. for its absolute support for Israel while it ravages Gaza and kills thousands of innocent civilians and children, while condemning Russia for its attacks in Ukraine.
The New York Times reported that the perceived hypocrisy among countries in the Global South and Middle East “risks creating new headwinds” for the Biden administration as it tries to sell its pro-Israel propaganda.
The paper noted that President Joe Biden tried to present Israel and Ukraine as two democracies squaring off against forces intent on their destruction that want to “completely annihilate” them. The U.S.—while condemning Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure—have approved Israel’s effort to smash all of Gaza.
“The war in the Middle East will drive a growing wedge between the West and countries like Brazil or Indonesia, key swing states of the Global South,” Clifford Kupchan, the chairman of the Eurasia Group. “That will make international cooperation on Ukraine, like sanctions enforcement on Russia even harder.”
TRENDPOST: Joko Widodo, the president of Indonesia, condemned Israel for its ongoing violence in Gaza, and Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva accused the U.S. of fanning the flames in Ukraine by pumping the country with weapons. He called for a ceasefire shortly after the Hamas attack on 7 October. (See “U.S. BLASTS BRAZIL’S LULA FOR ‘PARROTING RUSSIAN AND CHINESE PROPAGANDA,” 25 Apr 2023.)
We have long reported that Lula represents the general mistrust that the Global South has towards the U.S. (See “BRICS ON THE RISE: BRAZIL’S LULA WARMS UP TO CHINA, COOLS DOWN ON AMERICA” 18 Apr 2023, “BRAZIL’S LULA BLASTS U.S. OVER WEAPON TRANSFERS TO UKRAINE” 7 Jun 2022, “BRAZIL’S LULA SAYS UKRAINE’S COMEDIAN SHARES BLAME FOR WAR” 10 May 2022 and “IRANIAN WARSHIP’S VISIT TO BRAZIL DRAWS ISRAEL’S IRE” 24 Jan 2023.)
Lula told Time magazine that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the U.S. share blame for the war.
The Times noted that Sergio Franca Danese, Brazil’s ambassador to the UN, expressed anger earlier this month when the U.S. rejected a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. He said, “Hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza cannot wait any longer. Actually, they have waited far too long.”
Jordan’s King Abdullah II, who has also been critical of Israel’s military campaign said, “Anywhere else, attacking civilian infrastructure and deliberately starving an entire population of food, water, basic necessities would be condemned, accountability would be enforced. International law loses all value if it is implemented selectively.”
Indeed, protests have broken out across the world in opposition to the perceived selective outrage in the West.
“Today, Western governments are paying for their inability to find, or even to seek, a solution to the Palestinian question,” an editorial in Le Monde, the French paper, read. “They are also paying for their inability to adapt international governance, which they once dominated, to the new realities of global power dynamics.”
Indeed, while U.S. President Joe Biden was visiting Israel last week—while genocide was occurring in Gaza—Russian President Vladimir Putin was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss China’s Belt & Road Initiative. (See “CHINA, RUSSIA RISING WHILE U.S. IS DECLINING: XI, PUTIN DESCRIBE ‘FAIRER, MULTIPOLAR’ WORLD,” 24 Oct 2023.)
Nations in the Global South are far from Hamas supporters, but have been critical of Israel’s heavy-handed response to the Hamas attacks and have called for restraint.
Malaysia said it “is deeply concerned over the loss of so many lives due to the latest escalation of clashes in and around the Gaza Strip. At this critical time…parties must exercise utmost restraint and de-escalate,” according to Responsible Statecraft.
“The root cause must be acknowledged,” the statement continued. “The Palestinians have been subjected to the prolonged illegal occupation, blockade and sufferings, the desecration of Al-Aqsa, as well as the politics of dispossession at the hands of Israel as the occupier.”