Home Rachel Avraham Op-Ed: Why is the Treaty of Westphalia being Challenged in Our Times?

Op-Ed: Why is the Treaty of Westphalia being Challenged in Our Times?


By Rachel Avraham

In 1648, the Treaty of Westphalia was signed, which brought a final end to the 30 Years War, a war of religion that devastated Germany and killed 30 percent of its population.  Since neither the Protestants nor Catholics won in the end, it was determined that each state would refrain from interfering in the others’ affairs, instead of trying to force every state to be under the tutelage of the Pope and the Habsburg Empire.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once wrote in his book World Order, “The Westphalian peace reflected a practical accommodation to reality, not a unique moral insight. It relied on a system of independent states refraining from interference in each other’s domestic affairs and checking each other’s ambitions through a general equilibrium of power. No single claim to truth or universal rule had prevailed in Europe’s contests. Instead, each state was assigned the attribute of sovereign power over its territory. Each would acknowledge the domestic structures and religious vocations of its fellow states and refrain from challenging their existence.”

Since then, Westphalian sovereignty, otherwise known as state sovereignty, has become a principle of international law that is enshrined in the UN Charter, which proclaims, “Nothing shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state”.

Nevertheless, even though Westphalian sovereignty has been enshrined into international law, Ken Abramowitz, founder of Save the West and author of ‘The Multi-Front War,’ noted that the principle has faced many challenges in recent years since “we teach history poorly and thus repeat the mistakes of our ancestors”.

According to his article, “Remember the Treaty of Westphalia“, “I see Russia invading Ukraine. I see two million Muslims from Syria invading Germany.  I see Iran promising to kill everyone in America and Israel, which is double genocide. The Muslim Brotherhood views Islam as the successor religion and they do not accept Israel or the right of Christian countries to exist.  North Korea does not accept the right of South Korea to exist.  China illegally took over Hong Kong. They want to integrate with Taiwan and no one says anything. I see the US government, allowing an illegal foreign invasion of itself. The US government does not accept the sovereignty of the US.

“How is that everyone is fighting everyone,” Abramowitz asked rhetorically.  “How is it that everyone is fighting everyone?  Why is there an epidemic of countries taking over other countries?  The dictatorships are becoming emboldened by the ineptness of the management of the democracies. They look at the inept foreign policy situation and say take over the world.  Look at the Afghanistan debacle, which was purposely mismanaged by the administration.  They committed foreign policy suicide by just leaving, which emboldened the totalitarians.   I think when the bad guys, the reds, greens, and blues, witness such a poor management of the US, it emboldens them to take over other countries.

Abramowitz noted that this has caused the autocrats to go on the offensive, as the democracies are on the defensive, as many leaders are taking bribes from the reds, greens, and blues: “With such inept democratic governments, we are unable to pursue Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  If America is going to be saved ,as well as Europe and Israel, it is going to be because We the People saved the country.

“Look at Ukraine.  The administration was going to give the Ukraine to Russia.  America wanted to give Zelenskyy safe passage out of Ukraine.  He said,, ” I need ammunition, not a ride”.  And then We the People put pressure on our government to help protect Ukraine from the Russian bullies.  We got angrier and angrier.  Now, we are spending a lot of money to protect Ukraine’s borders but not our own.”

The late British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, once said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”   For this reason, appeasing totalitarians is a failed policy, as Putin, China, the mullahs in Tehran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Islamist extremists will never be appeased.  Giving them a gift like Afghanistan or the Ukraine won’t satisfy them.  It will just whet their appetite for more, until they devour everything that we cherish. Given this, we must restore the principle of Westphalian sovereignty and stand up for our rights as a free and sovereign people. Otherwise, our children won’t have much to look forward to in the future.

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working for the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, which is run by Mendi Safadi, a former Likud Candidate for the Knesset and a former chief of staff of former Israeli Communication Minister Ayoob Kara. Since 2012, she has been working as an Israel-based journalist and writer, covering Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other developments in the greater Islamic world.

Her articles have appeared in the Washington Times, the Hill, Front Page Magazine, the Daily Wire, the Christian Post, the Baltimore Jewish Times, the Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom, Ahval and many other publications across the globe. She received her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She got her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Previous articleOp-Ed: What Stands Behind the Recent Wave of Terror?
Next articleRed Skelton’s Salute to Flag Day