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"We're facing an inflection point in history," President Joe Biden began his address to the nation last week. "One of those moments where the decisions we make today are going to determine the future for decades to come."

Biden's right. But because the developing world (increasingly known by the collective colloquialism "Global South") sees the Mideast differently than the West does, the international inflection may point geopolitics in a different direction than the president intends.

Rhetorically and politically, Biden justifiably tied together the war between Russia and Ukraine and the conflict between Hamas and Israel when he said that "Hamas and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin represent different threats, but they share this in common: They both want to completely annihilate a neighboring democracy."

But for many worldwide, the recency of events and the torrent of visceral visuals makes it Gaza that faces annihilation. And that perception risks eclipsing the context of the nihilistic violence perpetrated by Putin in Ukraine and Hamas in Israel. So, increasingly, international critics are charging America with having a double standard.

From his perch observing diplomats at the United Nations, Richard Gowan, the U.N. director at the International Crisis Group, said that many or most observers in the Global South "sympathize with the Palestinians, even if they were disgusted by Hamas atrocities. They tend to equate the suffering of the Palestinians with the Ukrainians, and ask why the U.S. seems to worry less about a siege in Gaza than the siege of Mariupol. So I think Biden's effort to draw a line between Ukraine and Israel as victims of aggression, while well-pitched for U.S. audiences, doesn't resonate widely."

Even in Europe, Gowan continued, "countries that are broadly united in support of Ukraine are divided over the Israeli-Palestinian issue, so again this U.S. message only works in parts of NATO and the E.U. [European Union]."

Indeed, the Ukraine-Israel link should be viewed through the lens of domestic U.S. politics, said Anthony Lott, an associate professor of political science at St. Olaf College. Lott, whose scholarship focuses on national and international security policy, said that "From a security perspective, this link does not work as neatly as the administration would hope. Some European allies are less willing to grant Israel unconditional support. And, while it is always difficult to lump the states of the Global South together, it is clear that beyond the United States and its closest allies, like the U.K., there is an intentional desire to push back against that link. Broadly speaking, the Global South understands the conflict in Israel and the Occupied Territories through the lens of a growing humanitarian disaster."

Camera lenses capturing the calamitous conditions in Gaza are also undoubtedly apparent to the Biden administration, which has increasingly stressed getting humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians. As of Friday about 80 aid trucks had rumbled through the Rafah Crossing in Egypt, but that represents "crumbs that will not make a difference for the 2 million people in the Strip," Phillipe Lazzarini, head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, said at a news conference on Friday. He also reported that at least 57 UNRWA workers had been killed so far by Israeli airstrikes.

Concurrently, the U.N.'s World Food Program warned that "The catastrophic conditions facing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza risk getting worse still, due to severe fuel shortages which threaten to bring food and other humanitarian operations to a standstill."

In good news on Friday, the Red Cross was able to bring a war-surgery team and weapons contamination specialist in the country, but in a statement it too warned that "the humanitarian catastrophe is deepening by the hour."

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Mike Johnson, the new House speaker, told Fox News on Thursday that his caucus does not want to tie funding for Ukraine and Israel together, and instead wants to "bifurcate" aid to the countries.

Bifurcating is what Russia — and by extension, China — wants to see, too, within Washington to sap support for Ukraine and within the world to advance their quest to disconnect the West from the Global South.

"Russia has been making every effort to embarrass and isolate the U.S. over this crisis at the U.N.," said Gowan.

But Russia embarrassed — indeed, disgraced — itself worse by hosting Hamas officials in Moscow on Thursday, treating the terrorist group, which committed the worst slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust, as a legitimate political entity.

But Kremlin cynicism isn't limited to Moscow. Other capitals calculate similarly, responding in part to their restive streets.

From the U.N., Gowan said that "what is very important to keep in mind is that the Arab group [of countries] and many non-Western countries of the U.N., are not just playing a diplomatic game here — for or against a resolution — they are also having to respond to, in some cases, very, very angry domestic publics. And I think that the Arab group in particular, which is taking a very hard line in defense of the Palestinians, are aware that these images are spreading widely, they're being seen at home, and that has an effect on what their domestic audiences believe is necessary."

The "perceived hypocrisy between linking Ukraine to Israel-Gaza gets amplified by the scenes that are coming out of Gaza right now, in the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding," said Lott. "That would be the consequence of the media coverage right now."

Biden also spoke of the impact of images, but seemed to frame the narrative as whether the world would see the U.S. as resolute.

"Beyond Europe," Biden said, "we know that our allies and, maybe most importantly, our adversaries and competitors are watching. They're watching our response as well."

Meantime, they're watching every entity at the U.N. — especially a roiling region.

"Everyone knows that there is a pathway to a regional conflict that would have global spillover effects; everyone is trying to stop that," concluded Gowan. "Right at the moment, everyone is just puzzling out what Israel's next move will be. Although there's an almost universal concern around the U.N. over escalation, it is very difficult for U.N. members to step out of their accustomed roles and actually work on real diplomatic initiatives to reduce the risk.

"Everyone at the U.N. has very longstanding positions around the Middle East, and so what we're seeing at the moment is quite a lot of political theater around the U.N., which I fear is not actually necessarily really stopping the risks of a spiral to something much, much worse."

Quoting Madeline Albright, Biden referred to the U.S. as "the indispensable nation."

Now, more than ever, it needs to be, as the world indeed reaches an inflection point.