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.

3,489 signature
Goal: 5000 signature

Will you sign?

Showing 2189 reactions

  • Sandra Ferguson
    signed 2023-11-13 14:07:55 +1300
  • Kyle Scholten
    signed 2023-11-13 14:07:26 +1300
  • Mariska Lochead
    signed 2023-11-13 14:05:11 +1300
  • Ken Allan
    signed 2023-11-13 14:05:10 +1300
  • Kevin Ewing
    signed 2023-11-13 14:02:03 +1300
  • Allistar Graeve
    signed 2023-11-13 14:01:31 +1300
  • Raewyn Kippens
    signed 2023-11-13 13:59:20 +1300
  • Brian Gill
    signed 2023-11-13 13:59:11 +1300
  • Konstanze Artmann
    signed 2023-11-13 13:58:53 +1300
  • Margaret Warnes
    signed 2023-11-13 13:56:04 +1300
  • Andrew McLauchlan
    signed 2023-11-13 13:55:33 +1300
  • Stephen Moore
    signed 2023-11-13 13:53:08 +1300
  • Bill Knobloch
    signed 2023-11-13 13:53:08 +1300
  • Nahomi Dhinakar
    signed 2023-11-13 13:50:20 +1300
  • Meg Gordon
    signed 2023-11-13 13:48:32 +1300
  • Steve Plant
    signed 2023-11-13 13:48:13 +1300
  • Brian Davidson
    signed 2023-11-13 13:46:23 +1300
  • Kieran Meyer
    signed 2023-11-13 13:45:34 +1300
  • John Fong
    signed 2023-11-13 13:45:32 +1300
    The right to be heard is fundamental to a democracy. Show respect so that we can find the truth which will and must be backed by facts.
  • Ann Brabant
    signed 2023-11-13 13:41:56 +1300
  • John Anderson
    signed 2023-11-13 13:41:42 +1300
    I am a strong advocate for Freedom of Speech
  • Stephen Peacock
    signed 2023-11-13 13:40:07 +1300
  • Victor Ashby
    signed 2023-11-13 13:39:54 +1300
    Jesus not only has the answer he is the answer. He said love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you. If your enemy is thirsty give him a drink. If he is hungry feed him. He said bless and do not curse.
  • Jenny Kemp
    signed 2023-11-13 13:39:54 +1300
  • Al Tie
    signed 2023-11-13 13:35:59 +1300
    Hamas is wrong, Israel is wrong. Politics and religion have no place in human peace. Humans are tolerant of each other but greed and power wielded by a few tyrants throughout history, destroy the very nature of humanity. These current, certifiably insane tyrants must be ended and removed from this planet. There is no judgement greater than peace amongst humans, all the rest need to go!
  • Colleen Willoughby
    signed 2023-11-13 13:33:53 +1300
  • Neil Foreman
    signed 2023-11-13 13:32:25 +1300
  • Kay Mackenzie
    signed 2023-11-13 13:29:50 +1300
  • Graham Peters
    signed 2023-11-13 13:29:22 +1300
  • Trevor Fredericksen
    signed 2023-11-13 13:29:03 +1300