American media outlets frequently condemn the State of Israel for demolishing the homes of Palestinian terrorists and others in the West Bank who decide to engage in construction projects without a permit. However, the State of Israel is not the only country that engages in home demolitions. Indeed, home demolitions are systematically taking place in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Bangladesh. Yet to the chagrin of everyone who cares about human rights, these demolitions are not getting the same level of American media exposure that the ones conducted by Israel receive.
According to a recent report by Human Rights Watch, the Lebanese Armed Forces demolished 20 Syrian refugee shelters last summer since they were not built in accordance with the nation’s unenforced housing codes. The Lebanese authorities have been forcing Syrian refugees to live in non-permanent structures on agricultural land and the Syrian refugees have been denied the right to build proper homes for themselves. Any Syrian refugee in Lebanon who attempts to build a better home for himself will witness the demolition of his home. As a result, many Syrian refugee children in Lebanon have suffered greatly in the wintertime.
“This crackdown on housing code violations should be seen for what it is, which is illegitimate pressure on Syrian refugees to leave Lebanon,” Bill Frelick, refugee rights director of Human Rights Watch, stated. “Many of those affected have real reasons to fear returning to Syria including arrests, torture and ill-treatment by Syrian intelligence branches.” However, except for NPR, not a single American media outlet bothered to cover this important Human Rights Watch report.
Sadly, the Lebanese government is not alone in its policy of destroying the homes of the most vulnerable members of the country. In an interview conducted by Turkish journalist Rafael Sadi, Abdulah Demirbas, the ex-mayor of Sur, a Kurdish a city in Turkey, highlighted that Erdogan’s government has systematically destroyed homes in his hometown even though it is a UNESCO world heritage site merely in order to rid the region of anything that is not Muslim Turkish: “They have already destroyed about sixty percent of the historic homes in Sur. The state continues to demolish buildings in places with or without history.”
“For example, there is a synagogue that we were planning to restore,” Demirbas related. “The traces of this synagogue, which we call the Arab Sheikh Mosque in Diyarbakir, are now removed. There are now no traces of it. Many places have been made flat. The historical artifacts in Lalebey. The Alipasa region was also eliminated. They want to eradicate memory by eliminating historical artifacts and creating an exclusively Turkish Islamic history. For this reason, they destroy Sur so that those who visit here hundreds of years later will only see makeshift buildings with no history.” Sadly, not a single American media outlet bothered to cover what Erdogan’s government did in Sur and other historic places Erdogan has destroyed within the country.
After the Holocaust, we as the Jewish people pledged NEVER AGAIN. However, as we speak, Turkey is ethnically cleansing the Kurds from Northern Syria and the world has turned a blind eye. The American media today cares more about the latest Trump scandal than the plight of the men, women and children who fought so bravely against ISIS. Sherkoh Abbas, who heads the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, related: “Over a half million Kurds at least have been displaced. They destroyed or overrun their homes. If a Kurd tries to come back, the Turks and their allies destroy his home. If he flees, they take over and occupy it. When you look at Afrin, they had for hundreds of years olive and mandarin trees. They have cut them down. It is interesting that the international community and especially the Europeans are remaining silent.”
In Bangladesh, the home of Shipan Kumer Basu, who heads the World Hindu Struggle Committee, was recently attacked and seized. Basu related that the Awami League government accompanied by the BNP Party have started to build a road through his property without his permission in recent days. He noted that Bangladesh systematically has a policy of seizing and attacking Hindu and other minority property. He believes that his home was targeted due to his outspoken advocacy for the rights of Bangladeshi Hindus and other minorities in the Asian country. Sadly, not a single media outlet in America till now has bothered to report on this story.
In conclusion, the American media has demonstrated that they display a systematic bias, where they neglect to care about home demolitions in the greater Islamic world unless Israel can be blamed for them. They don’t care if Syrian refugee shelters in Lebanon are demolished. They are not bothered by the destruction of historic Kurdish homes in Sur. Nor do they care about the Kurds in Northern Syria and Bangladeshi Hindus being ethnically cleansed from their homes. To the chagrin of humanity, the American media only cares about demonizing Israel and nothing else.