During the Cold War, a number of countries in the Third World (now referred to as the ‘Developing World’, in a more polite or modern way) fell under the sway of one of the two superpowers at the time: the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Some countries, like Egypt, at times played off of both sides to their own advantage. Yet there was another political bloc of developing nations that mostly resisted falling into either of the political spheres of the time: the Non-Aligned Movement. Many of these nations were former colonies of European powers or Japan. Seeing the Soviet communist system as oppressive, contrary to their cultures/religions, or economically unfeasible, many countries rejected offers of integration into the “Red Bloc” led by the Soviet Union. However, the racism and extreme capitalism of the USA, along with its increased friendliness towards the former colonial powers of Europe, seemed to contradict the independence-minded nature of the American Revolution that was so admired by figures like Ho Chi Minh. Countries like India, Lebanon, Indonesia, Cuba, and Yugoslavia, belonged to this group. Overall, though, it proved ineffective. Economic and industrial development in many of these countries is poor or stagnant. Many of them fell into authoritarianism, while others eventually sided with one of the two superpowers. Nowadays, after the collapse of the USSR, it remains ineffective. 

 However, there are numerous reasons the Non-Aligned Movement can be reformed and resurgent in the coming years. The colonial powers of Europe transformed into the European Union, which is officially devoted to assisting in the development of impoverished countries and fighting for human rights. But with Brexit and a stagnant economy, the EU has fallen into decline. 
The United States is now governed by Donald Trump, a figure who knows little about governing and engages in harmful, bigoted, and isolationist rhetoric that is in the process of being transformed into government policy. Russia is in some ways a resurgent power, but is hardly a source of stability or a force to rely upon for developing countries. Its economy is in decline, its population rapidly aging and facing increasing social problemsand its militarism a disturbing tool of imperialism.  China—which faces similar demographic and social issues as Russia—is engaging in similar neocolonial economic policies in less fortunate countries that Europe engaged in decades ago. While two or three decades ago there may have been some semblance of a “role model” figure to guide the Third World, this is not the case today. But in the decades since the end of the Cold War, some developing countries have advanced significantly, and have a lot to offer other nations in their situation. Israel is already engaged in what could be interpreted as a major political realignment. As left-wing Europeans (and other Westerners) drift away from Jerusalem and towards Ramallah, the Jewish state increasingly seeks to fortify its ties with Asian and African countries, often based on mutual interests and past cultural and diplomatic relations. It has increased trade and signed major arms deals with Indiaa state that once always backed the Arabs in international organizations, but now largely abstains from anti-Israel UN resolutions. Similarly, Israel’s agricultural and economic expertise and assistance to Africa  has allowed for the cultivation of closer ties with the African Union. Common history and interest could bring countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa closer to Israel. The Jewish people, like many peoples of the Third World, were victims of colonialism and empire. India and African countries like Kenya have fallen victim to Islamist terror over the past two decades—something Israel has had to battle since its inception in 1948. Similarly, the regimes in Central Asian countries seek to retain their independence while also staving off increasing extremist voices within.  Israel can offer not just training in anti-terrorism for these countries’ military forces, but also security barriers and border fences—similar to that which exists in Judea & Samaria—to scale back the ability of terrorists to infiltrate stable and free countries. 

And while all of these countries enjoy strong partnerships and relationships with the dominant world powers, they also seek to retain their independence rather than being vassals of their former colonial masters. In regards to what the Third World can do for Israel, many African and Asian states could offer significant help in the UN by abstaining from, being absent for, or even voting against unfair resolutions targeting Jerusalem. This would crush the Palestinian “diplomatic war” against the lone Jewish state (forcing them to realize there is no other option but direct negotiations) and refocusing international pressure on terror-supporting states (such as Iran) and the Palestinian abuses of human rights, especially under Hamas rule in Gaza. But there are benefits that these Third World countries can realize even without issues related to Israel. India’s increasing presence in Africa and Latin America will help to build its own economy—as well as those of its trading partners-- through economic transactions, as well as demonstrating its increasing global clout as a rising great power. And in the case of spreading democracy, India, like Israel, would offer up a better path and example than many Western countries. 

Unlike the United States and much of Europe, Israel and India have no history of warmongering or colonizing other parts of the world. When Third World countries hear about the desire among Western states to “spread democracy” or liberate the world, it reeks of hypocrisy and sends shudders of worry and fear into the spines of leaders from Central America to Southeast Asia. Sometimes well-intentioned (assuming that is the case) campaigns to spread democracy or prevent authoritarianism go horribly wrong, such as those in 2003 Iraq and 1953 Iran. Moreover, the economic policies of Western-funded institutions
like the World Bank  still engage in neocolonialism that benefits the First World while exploiting and suppressing the Third World. This sort of democracy looks unappealing for several developing countries. But that exhibited by Israel and India, both of which strongly adhere to their proud ancient traditions while allowing for the people to decide, is something that can be admired by countries with similar histories and experiences. These two nations, against all odds, have retained their democracy (albeit with questionable policies in some cases) despite being surrounded by hostile entities. In an increasingly unstable and troubled world, there is a need for order, liberty, and democracy. But the Western powers are less reliable than ever, due to severe internal troubles and domestic debates about the role of Western governments in “policing” the world. Authoritarian, corrupt, and neo-imperialist powers such as China and Russia, which suffer from their own internal issues, are not only unreliable but also untrustworthy. This is a sign that developing countries need to rely less on the dominant powers and more on themselves. The best way to achieve this would be to form a coalition to face common challenges, such as poverty, climate change, war, and terrorism.  The liberation of the postcolonial world doesn’t depend on the former colonial powers, but on developing nations themselves and forming a strategic axis of cooperation.

 

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