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.

3,543 signature
Goal: 5000 signature

Will you sign?

Showing 2208 reactions

  • 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
  • Alistair McIver
    signed 2023-11-13 12:51:01 +1300
  • Audrey Rotheray
    signed 2023-11-13 12:49:53 +1300
    Censoring, banning, cancelling, suppressing, excluding, are often the tactics of the bully, the disempowered and the fearful. It is always useful to hear what a possible adversary thinks—-forewarned-forearmed. Suppressed feelings go subterranean, can fester and can, unexpectedly, burst open like a putrid boil. Stoics (paraphrased) teach: "Let others think and speak their thoughts. Even if incoherent or expressed with excessive emotion. You might learn something useful. If offensive-you then have the power to say so or sidestep them and/or quietly dismiss them as ignorant and turn your back.
  • Chris Robinson
    signed 2023-11-13 12:48:47 +1300
  • Mark Burgher
    signed 2023-11-13 12:48:42 +1300
  • Mike Wilson
    signed 2023-11-13 12:48:17 +1300
    Get rid of all religion, just worship nature
  • Kylie Fletcher
    signed 2023-11-13 12:47:03 +1300
  • Bernard Pavlovich
    signed 2023-11-13 12:46:05 +1300
  • Arteshar Lloyd
    signed 2023-11-13 12:45:37 +1300
  • Mujeeb Syed
    signed 2023-11-13 12:45:14 +1300
  • Kerry Sinclair
    signed 2023-11-13 12:45:05 +1300
  • Belinda Goldfinch
    signed 2023-11-13 12:44:42 +1300
  • Nicholas Brook
    signed 2023-11-13 12:44:27 +1300
    Beware those who would use the aggression and violence of distant lands to ignite aggression and violence in Aotearoa.
  • David Round
    signed 2023-11-13 12:43:21 +1300
  • James Madden
    signed 2023-11-13 12:43:13 +1300
  • Mike Houlding
    signed 2023-11-13 12:43:05 +1300
  • Sue Reedy
    signed 2023-11-13 12:42:37 +1300
  • Peter Gillespie
    signed 2023-11-13 12:41:57 +1300
  • Phil Macpherson
    signed 2023-11-13 12:41:36 +1300
  • Chris Young
    signed 2023-11-13 12:41:27 +1300
  • Angela Johnston
    signed 2023-11-13 12:41:22 +1300