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.

3,544 signature
Goal: 5000 signature

Will you sign?

Showing 2208 reactions

  • Mike van Dijk
    signed 2023-11-13 11:33:27 +1300
  • Michael Jenks
    signed 2023-11-13 11:33:11 +1300
  • Gerald Coffey
    signed 2023-11-13 11:31:11 +1300
  • Maree Patton
    signed 2023-11-13 11:31:09 +1300
  • Jackie Sommerville
    signed 2023-11-13 11:29:25 +1300
  • Stanley Hall
    signed 2023-11-13 11:28:26 +1300
  • Tom Spratt
    signed 2023-11-13 11:28:14 +1300
  • Joe Rifici
    signed via 2023-11-13 11:27:48 +1300
  • Alex Travers
    signed 2023-11-13 11:27:33 +1300
  • Laura Edwards
    signed 2023-11-13 11:27:26 +1300
  • Nicholas Evans
    signed 2023-11-13 11:25:53 +1300
  • Raymond Moore
    signed 2023-11-13 11:25:37 +1300
  • Daniel Peacock
    signed 2023-11-13 11:25:34 +1300
  • Ian Denness
    signed 2023-11-13 11:25:04 +1300
  • Neil Harrap
    signed 2023-11-13 11:24:26 +1300
  • Simon Head
    signed 2023-11-13 11:24:12 +1300
  • Leah Pigou
    signed 2023-11-13 11:22:13 +1300
  • Marina Goldburt
    signed 2023-11-13 11:22:09 +1300
  • Geoffrey McCallum
    signed 2023-11-13 11:22:03 +1300
  • Michael Simon
    signed 2023-11-13 11:22:01 +1300
  • Richard Andrews
    signed 2023-11-13 11:21:55 +1300
    One has to remember, when discussing Israel, that they can’t afford to ever lose any conflict. If they do, they will cease to exist. Whereas their Arab neighbours can afford to lose frequently.

    And one needs to take this into account when viewing this current conflict in Gaza, and Israels actions.

    The actions of Hamas were obviously designed to provoke Israel into retaliation, probably hoping to swing world opinion against the Israelis. I don’t think that Israel can afford to stop now, until they feel that they have completely rooted out all of Hamas’s hiding places.

    Personally I think that this conflict will never be solved unless both Israel and the surrounding Arab countries make land concessions to the Palestinians. And the Arab countries have shown no willingness to assist, I think that they really like this ongoing running sore in the side of Israel.
  • Lionel Padial
    signed 2023-11-13 11:21:40 +1300
  • Jeffery Bredenbeck
    signed 2023-11-13 11:21:33 +1300
  • Dean Cowell
    signed 2023-11-13 11:21:18 +1300
    100% agree with FSU efforts
  • Suresh Syed
    signed 2023-11-13 11:20:54 +1300
  • Ruth Dillon
    signed 2023-11-13 11:20:06 +1300
    To my mind both Hamas AND Israel are terrorists! I think it is appalling the way Israel are killing all the civilians. Perhaps if Israel had not stolen Palestinian land in 1967 and perhaps if they were NOT still stealing land by building ILLEGAL settlements then Hamas would NOT have had any excuse to do what they did on 7th of October!!! I’m NOT excusing Hamas but the world and Israel need to look at what they have reduced the poor old Palestinians to – a thin trip of land – Gaza – and the West Bank! Disgusting. I am NOT anti-Semitic but I think someone should put a bullet into Mr Netynyahu or however you spell his name. When the officials talk they all sound just like PUTIN! But here is NZ we should be able to discuss our opinions WITHOUT getting violent. I blame the media!
  • Malcolm Catt
    signed 2023-11-13 11:18:37 +1300
  • Brucep Logan
    signed 2023-11-13 11:18:22 +1300
    Although this statement seems to say little more than the obvious I have signed it although I believe it doesn’t go far enough. The issue before us is not just one of abhorring violence, Rather it is one of historic and deep-seated anti-Semitism.
  • Roger & Walnetta McCall
    signed 2023-11-13 11:16:26 +1300
  • Lynette Crombie
    signed 2023-11-13 11:15:43 +1300