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Adekeye Adebajo
Says More…

This week in Say More, PS talks with Adekeye Adebajo, a professor and senior research fellow at the University of Pretoria’s Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship.

Project Syndicate: In December, highlighting efforts by Global South countries to “avoid becoming embroiled in superpower conflicts,” you predicted “not greater multipolarity, but greater bipolarity” this year, and warned that Western support for Israel in its war in Gaza would “expose the double standards at the heart of the international system.” What could mitigate this trend? How realistic are efforts to breathe new life into the Cold War-era Non-Aligned Movement?

Adekeye Adebajo: Halting the trend toward “global apartheid” is becoming more difficult almost by the day, and Israel’s war in Gaza is a key reason why.

Much of the Global South sees Western governments (and some media) as not just condoning, but actively supporting Israel’s aggressive offensive, which has already killed over 35,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children. This gives an impression of real hypocrisy, as those same governments decry Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Winning support for the fight against Russia – including in the United Nations General Assembly, where a majority of members come from the Global South – will remain an uphill battle, as long as countries can hold Gaza up as a mirror to Western countries. Heavy-handed police responses to pro-Palestinian protests on American college campuses do not help matters, as they invite accusations that the United States is failing to live up to the principles of free speech that it preaches to the rest of the world.