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Utah organizations create pro-Palestine memorial downtown



Salt Lake City, Utah – A memorial for Palestine has been erected outside the Salt Lake City and County office in response to the ongoing global protests against the war in Gaza, where over 30,000 people are thought to have died.

With assistance from Utah for a Cease Fire and The Palestinian Solidarity Forum of Utah, the memorial was erected.

Those who assisted with it indicated that community donations were the source of all the funds raised for the memorial.

On Friday night, Aziz Abuzayed and other volunteers labored to enlarge the memorial. He stated that pictures of those who died in the war and had ties to Utah would be printed in addition to the ones that are currently online, including his family.

“My great aunt, her three daughters, and all of her grandchildren, and when I say all, I mean all, like the entire lineage of her family,” Aziz said.

He hoped that Utahns would be reached by the memorial differently than they had been by the protests.

“It’s a way to have something more permanent, something that people can visit and come by and look at. . . . I want people to learn about these stories without the alleged intimidation of us being there,” Abuzayed said. “This is another chance to learn. As a Palestinian, my goal 10 to 20 years from now is I don’t want to hear anyone say I did not know — If you ask people why didn’t you do anything about it, they say I did not know about it.”

He admitted that he had battled survivor’s remorse.

“What if I hadn’t left Gaza; what if I had stayed?” he asked.

On the memorial, the city released the following statement:

“Washington Square is public property and is frequently used by individuals to express their 1st Amendment rights to speech and assembly. City ordinance requires a City-issued permit for fixed displays. Salt Lake City Corporation received a permit application for the Palestinian flag display and reviewed it through the process defined in City ordinance, Chapter 3.50. Every application for a display permit is considered by the same process, and the granting of such permits never constitutes the City endorsing or adopting the message of the display. City ordinance also limits the placement of flags to one specific location on Washington Square. This display is permitted for 21 days, which was the request of the applicant and is the maximum allowable time under the City ordinance. The display is required to be removed from Washington Square no later than 11:59 p.m. on May 12.”

Early Friday, Salt Lake City’s Rabbi Avremi Zippel posted on X, “I started my day with a dozen concerned text messages from Jews and non-Jews alike. Washington Park/City Hall is currently covered in Palestinian flags.”

Zippel said, “I think we’ve seen with a lot of these encampments around the country where there’s been a somewhat innocent beginning, where we just want to gather to mourn the lives lost. I think there’s a genuine concern that this is going to happen right here in SLC. I think there is a very thin line where it crosses over from remembering our loved ones to starting to incite violence. The moment we cross the line, I think we have a problem.”

Jackie Zellerite, a volunteer, came out today to assist with memorial expansion.

“I am here because I was tired of doing nothing for so long. I am Jewish. My great grandparents were killed in Russia for being Jewish a long time ago,” Zellerite said. “No one deserves to be killed for who they are. That includes the 800 victims in Israel, but it also includes the 35,000 victims in Gaza.”

On Sunday, April 29th at 5:00 p.m., there will be an opening ceremony for the Washington Square memorial.


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