We must preserve tolerance and peace in debate over Israel-Gaza conflict


The 7th of November marked one month since an attack on Israel reignited bloody conflict in Gaza. This ongoing and devastating situation has continued to fuel intense emotions overseas and in New Zealand.

The cause is complex, and so is knowing the appropriate response.
We do not pretend to have the perfect answer.

But no matter which side we are on, if we strike at the basic democratic principles in our outrage, we will all be poorer.

One side can’t have the right to have their say without the other receiving the same. The opportunity to listen and provide counter-speech must exist, otherwise this wouldn’t be a democracy.

Would you sign this public letter, regardless of which side you come from on this issue, working with us to preserve open debate and civil discourse?



Together, we sign this letter whilst disagreeing on many things.

We disagree about a way forward in the Middle East, and we disagree about much to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

We all agree, however, on the basic principles of democracy and are united against violence.

We are appalled that a Member of Parliament required Police protection to leave a protest in Auckland Domain because he expressed an unpopular opinion. We condemn intimidation, violence, and intolerance. 

We are saddened by the unprecedented levels of both antisemitic and Islamophobic actions occurring around New Zealand associated with events overseas. Our common desire is that New Zealand would be a peaceful and free nation, where all people can speak freely and share their story.

We encourage all New Zealanders to use their voices to call out intolerance and hate, and to speak up for peace.

3,500 signature
Goal: 5000 signature

Will you sign?

Showing 2170 reactions

  • Peter Haward
    signed 2024-02-22 08:54:57 +1300
  • Deborah Henderson
    signed 2024-02-19 15:44:49 +1300
  • Richard Eltringham
    signed 2024-02-17 23:44:34 +1300
  • Matt Davey
    signed 2024-02-17 12:04:40 +1300
  • Chris Penniall
    signed 2024-02-15 19:32:50 +1300
  • Aaron Dixon
    signed 2024-02-15 18:01:38 +1300
  • Willem Bosman
    signed 2024-02-15 13:52:47 +1300
  • Ross McPherson
    signed 2024-02-14 15:51:11 +1300
  • Catherine Palmer
    signed 2024-02-14 15:44:36 +1300
  • Jacqueline Green
    signed 2024-02-12 05:53:02 +1300
  • Paul Rennie
    signed 2024-02-11 08:07:41 +1300
  • Sophia Smeele
    signed 2024-02-08 09:13:33 +1300
  • Liz McKenzie
    signed 2024-02-08 08:12:02 +1300
  • Christopher Jones
    signed 2024-02-07 11:39:03 +1300
    Islamophobia is ‘a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.’ Islam is a system of beliefs, not an ethnicity or a nationality. The term you should use that is analogous to antisemitism is anti-muslim bigotry.
  • Cori Sanders
    signed 2024-02-07 11:04:57 +1300
  • Sara Worth
    signed 2024-02-03 15:28:43 +1300
  • Yvonne Priest
    signed 2024-02-03 13:47:47 +1300
  • Peter Keech
    signed 2024-02-03 11:38:49 +1300
  • Deborah Hall
    signed 2024-02-02 21:38:00 +1300
    Speech that actually incites x violence upon x group is not protected- all other speech is protected. If an opinion is voiced that another vehemently disagrees with, then rebut it with your vehement salient points of disagreement. Silencing speech you disagree with is the best step towards totalitarianism and is unacceptable in New Zealand- a country that used to practice democratic freedoms and individual rights and responsibilities.
  • Lorraine Evans
    signed 2024-02-02 19:58:17 +1300
  • Kathleen Griffin
    signed 2024-02-02 17:10:26 +1300
  • Mike Williams
    signed 2024-01-29 17:29:31 +1300
    Definitely see both sides of this. These days I’m always interested in who is paying for or who benefits from these actions.
  • Brian Atkins
    signed 2024-01-29 14:57:46 +1300
  • Charmaine Davis
    signed 2024-01-28 11:44:38 +1300
  • Peter James
    signed 2024-01-27 13:44:30 +1300
  • Donald McKenzie
    signed 2024-01-27 11:29:52 +1300
  • vivienne godkin
    signed 2024-01-27 09:25:08 +1300
    I will always support my right to speak out in an informed way about matters that interest and concern me. I do NOT support hurtful free speech or ideas that are not proven or untrue.
  • Vic Alborn
    signed 2024-01-25 20:24:32 +1300
  • Caleb Wylie
    signed 2024-01-25 08:37:09 +1300
  • Rachel Gillespie
    signed 2024-01-24 16:57:06 +1300