Main Navigation

Letter to the community: Israel-Palestine crisis

Dear University of Utah community,

As we see the violence in Israel and Gaza continue, we are mindful of the ways this crisis is felt on our campus. The coordinated and targeted attack by Hamas has led to the loss of thousands of lives, families shattered, and many in our community feeling angry and grief-stricken. The fighting has injured and displaced many more, and disrupted or destroyed vital resources, businesses and services. The conflict between Israel and Hamas is of course much more complex and enduring than any single day.

Read University of Utah leaders’ message to campus.

As the violence intensifies and tensions escalate, we recognize that many of our colleagues have families and friends who are now in harm’s way. Very little is certain besides the fact that more Palestinian and Israeli lives will be lost before this is over. As this crisis unfolds, it is imperative that we remember that our work at the University of Utah is built on a foundation of our shared humanity and responsibilities to each other as a community. Rather than mobilizing around sides and arguments, we ask our campus community to instead consider the enormity of loss and seek to comprehend the nuances at play.

At the University of Utah, we have scholars to guide us to a better understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict, past and present. Their work and teaching seek to illuminate the history of Israel, Palestine, and the wider Middle East, and why peace has been so elusive there. The College of Humanities in partnership with the Middle East Center is planning a “teach-in” to help educate our campus community on precisely these matters. We will share more information about additional resources and this opportunity to learn together in the coming days.

Most importantly, we encourage all those impacted by this crisis to reach out for support — and to check in with your peers, coworkers and community members to offer support. University services are ready to assist any member of our campus community affected by this crisis and grappling with its harsh realities. As individuals, we can commit to ensuring the safety of our colleagues and friends. Together, we can work towards strengthening the foundation of community at the University of Utah.

Mitzi Montoya
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Mary Ann Villarreal
Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Lori McDonald
Vice President for Student Affairs

Keith Diaz-Moore
Associate Vice Provost and Chief Global Officer

Previous posts about discrimination and how to prevent it

Anti-Muslim bias on campus

Anti-Semitism bias on campus

Counseling and support services are available from several entities on campus