Who are we?
In brief, Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land (UJPHL) was founded in 2000 by a small partnership of individuals living in Utah concerned about violations of human rights in Israel-Palestine and the misrepresentation of Palestinians in major news sources. UJPHL is an all-volunteer educational organization and a registered non-profit 501c-3.
Over the years, UJPHL has sponsored, co-sponsored, and supported (through curation, promotion, and attendance) many events throughout Utah. These events have included presentations with guest speakers, panel discussions, films with Q&A, booths at various festivals, and general gatherings that have facilitated conversations beyond the standard rhetoric. UJPHL activists have written editorials that have been published in the Salt Lake Tribune and have focused on communication with state and federal legislators, and other local government entities.
Why should Israel-Palestine matter to people living in Utah?
- The U.S gives Israel 3.8 billion US dollars per year for military support. If you had a say in how those funds were used, would you like to see those tax dollars used at home instead? Learn more.
- The similarities in geography, climate, and even parallel histories between Utah and Israel-Palestine are striking and should make each one of us pause to consider the bond between the two locales. The analogous Great Salt Lake to the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee to Utah Lake, and the Jordan River between the two water bodies happens no where else. The climate of both places is arid and the history of the regions abound with people who fled persecution elsewhere. These similarities serve to remind us that we have a sister-nation in the eastern hemisphere. Unlike the Zionist movement to create a Jewish-only nation in Israel-Palestine, however, Utah, while dominated by the presence of the LDS church, openly welcomes all people regardless of religious or ethnic affiliation. UJPHL opposes any act of antisemitism, but we also oppose any act that violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No one is better prepared or better able to relate to and guide our sister nation to an understanding of the sustaining value of inclusion than the citizens of Utah.
Bernie Sanders Pledges to Vote NO on the $778 Billion Pentagon Budget! Call your reps to join him!
BERNIE SANDERS announces that HE WILL BE VOTING NO ON THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT (NDAA) which is used annually to increase the war budget! Given this, it might seem confusing that he also just introduced an amendment to the NDAA — but it isn’t. Even as we oppose the NDAA, we also know that amendments to it are a great way to raise up important issues, in this case, the deadly stranglehold that Israel maintains on Gaza.
Bernie’s Report on the Humanitarian Impact of the Gaza Blockade and the Feasibility of Ending the Blockade amendment to the NDAA would require a report within 180 days on such things as the economic, humanitarian, political and psychological impacts of the blockade on Palestinians in Gaza. It would also require a study on the feasibility of replacing the current Gaza border crossing inspection mechanism that prevents fuel and essential goods from entering the enclave.
Over the past ten months, Israeli authorities have banned fourteen medical imaging devices (eight portable devices and six stationary ones) from entering Gaza. This is despite the devices being commonly used for COVID-19 positive patients. On top of this, as of August this year, 38% of essential drugs and 22% of medical disposables were at ‘zero stock’ in Gaza. Given that we, as Americans, supply Israel with $3.8 billion per year, we absolutely should know if our money is going directly to the denial of health care for Palestinians in Gaza.
The effort we are asking you to make is in no way about supporting the NDAA. It’s about raising up our voices for the people in Gaza so that they may live in freedom and dignity. The more action we take, the harder it will be for Congress to ignore that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is immoral and unsustainable. Let’s send a message together to Congress to Let Gaza Live!
UJPHL strives to promote and support events that bring accurate information to light. All events, virtual and live, sponsored, co-sponsored, or supported by us will be posted here. Check back often.
Did you miss the past Virtual Event?
The live event was aired on Tues, Nov 16, 2021, 11:00 am MT, but you can still watch the recorded videoconference through link below.
Settler Violence in Palestine: WHY?
A videoconference with Amira Hass journalist at the Israeli newspaper Haaretz
- Terror – a state of intense or overwhelming fear
- Terrorism – the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion
- Terrorist – an advocate or practitioner of terrorism as a means of coercion
Additional Palestinian sites below. Also see Links at the top of this page.
Gaza Mental Health Foundation – Healing the spirit, instilling hope….the Gaza Mental Health Foundation Inc was formed in 2001 to support the critically important work of providing mental health services for the people in the Gaza Strip, especially the children who are the region’s future.
“I am writing this letter looking at my terrified 6-year old son, who keeps putting his hands over his ears trying block the sounds of Israel’s bombardment, my two daughters, aged 13 and 10 and my wife. These faces show the anxiety of not knowing where they can be safe now. My two older sons, 16 and 15, sit stunned and silent and I know they are reliving the memories of the previous three offensives on Gaza Strip and the family members we lost. These are the feelings that every family in the Gaza strip are living through.”Dr. Abu-Jamei, May 13, 2021
Scientists for Palestine promote science and support the integration of the occupied Palestinian territories in the international scientific community. They also aim to raise awareness among scientists of conscience outside of Palestine about the challenges of studying and doing science under military occupation.
We Are Not Numbers – Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news.
(The following was originally posted on June 7, 2021 on We Are Not Numbers.)
what kind of resistance
do you want me to do?
or nothing at all,
just dying silently
so as not to bother you?
What kind of resistance
would you do
if your home was stolen,
if your life was merely dough
in the hands of someone else?
Someone who says his god
promised him your land?
I imagine walking
the streets of Sheikh Jarrah
and find Yacoub (the settler)
standing at the door of my house,
ordering me to knock down
my own house, piece by piece,
or pay for him to do it while I watch.
I imagine the journalists
detained for simply doing their job:
documenting our attempts to resist.
And the protest leaders,
seized in their homes.
It’s not so different from here,
as I walk the streets of Gaza,
cloaked in darkness (no electricity).
I hear drones buzzing in my ears.
I see the rubble of a building,
hear the ghostly echo children crying,
their home gone in a burst of dust.
One war over, another will come.
Dear world, don’t I have a right to resist?
Is occupation ever right?
Would you not do the same,
if you were in my shoes?
Read more by Palestinian authors and see beautiful photographs and illustrations by Gaza’s artists at We are Not Numbers.