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.

3,535 signature
Goal: 5000 signature

Will you sign?

Showing 2200 reactions

  • Maryanne Richards
    signed 2023-11-13 13:18:24 +1300
    One wonders if any speech is free: or does it come from the background of culture, experience, ideas and ideals like religion and nationalism, from the past and being conditioned by them. If we can see that thought emerges from that conditioning we can see that thought is a process particular to all and we are conditioned each of us to a personal point of view and it ends up being just an opinion. The stronger the views the more radical we can become. Truth gets lost in the struggle to get our views across. Becoming aware of this is the only way out.
  • Lilia Sevillano
    signed 2023-11-13 13:15:14 +1300
  • Jonathan Marxen
    signed 2023-11-13 13:15:10 +1300
    I am in here to support you Jon & the team, have a Good Heart (of flesh) .
  • Mario Franzoni
    signed 2023-11-13 13:14:04 +1300
  • Bruce Mckenzie
    signed 2023-11-13 13:13:37 +1300
    Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)

    Afghan Taliban.

    Al-Nusrah Front.


    Ansar al-Sharia.

    Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM)

    Al-Qa’ida Core (AQ)

    Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian. Peninsula (AQAP)


    Good luck talking about “freedom, peace, sharing, free speech, debate, civil discourse, western values, democracy” with this lot!
  • Ken Maclaren
    signed 2023-11-13 13:12:23 +1300
  • Leigh Parmentier
    signed 2023-11-13 13:11:42 +1300
  • marnie Fornusek
    signed 2023-11-13 13:11:30 +1300
  • Roy Menzies
    signed 2023-11-13 13:09:57 +1300
  • Michael  Christopher Goodall
    signed 2023-11-13 13:09:47 +1300
  • Vivien Gallie
    signed 2023-11-13 13:09:35 +1300
  • Kenneth R Spall
    signed 2023-11-13 13:09:33 +1300
  • Michael Brathwaite
    signed 2023-11-13 13:08:50 +1300
  • Graeme Reeves Reeves
    signed 2023-11-13 13:05:48 +1300
  • Peter Hind
    signed 2023-11-13 13:05:47 +1300
  • Lynise Jones
    signed 2023-11-13 13:03:54 +1300
  • Lucas Keen
    signed 2023-11-13 13:03:53 +1300
  • John Richardson
    signed 2023-11-13 13:03:18 +1300
  • Debra Birs
    signed 2023-11-13 13:02:05 +1300
  • Karen Mason
    signed 2023-11-13 13:00:22 +1300
  • Mick Wilson
    signed 2023-11-13 12:56:46 +1300
  • Corey Thompson
    signed 2023-11-13 12:56:30 +1300
    Love and peace is the only path forward for humanity.
  • John Milne
    signed 2023-11-13 12:55:12 +1300
    The same applies to the outrageous outburst from Chloe Swarbrick afterwards. She was cheered, but Phil Twyford was jeered. Both have the right of open dialogue – free from ‘thugs veto’ intimidation, and if need be with Police protection. The same applies to the appalling behaviour against ‘Posie Parker’. Is there an unfortunate perilous pattern emerging in NZ?.
  • Miriam Clark
    signed 2023-11-13 12:54:18 +1300
  • Colin van Zyl
    signed 2023-11-13 12:53:14 +1300
  • Lois Griffiths
    signed 2023-11-13 12:53:09 +1300
  • Euan McPetrie
    signed 2023-11-13 12:52:27 +1300
  • Graham Church
    signed 2023-11-13 12:52:14 +1300
  • Mike Menzies
    signed 2023-11-13 12:51:53 +1300
  • Vivienne Telfer
    signed 2023-11-13 12:51:37 +1300