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

  • Daniel Walmsley
    signed 2023-11-13 10:22:10 +1300
  • Ronald Kirkland
    signed 2023-11-13 10:21:55 +1300
  • Jordan Forbes
    signed 2023-11-13 10:21:45 +1300
  • Warwick Browne
    signed 2023-11-13 10:21:33 +1300
  • Evan Blackie
    signed 2023-11-13 10:20:51 +1300
  • Alison Dodds
    signed 2023-11-13 10:20:33 +1300
  • Val Schenn
    signed 2023-11-13 10:20:27 +1300
    Although I have taken this woman out of New Zealand, I can’t take New Zealand out of the woman! Free speech is paramount.
  • Colin Hanlon
    signed 2023-11-13 10:20:21 +1300
  • Sally Tiatia
    signed 2023-11-13 10:20:03 +1300
  • Kathleen Parton
    signed 2023-11-13 10:20:03 +1300
  • John Calkin
    signed 2023-11-13 10:19:41 +1300
  • Mark Humphrey
    signed 2023-11-13 10:19:21 +1300
  • susan washington
    signed 2023-11-13 10:19:11 +1300
  • greg dervan
    signed 2023-11-13 10:18:53 +1300
  • Graham Hammond
    signed 2023-11-13 10:18:27 +1300
    It’s an affront to humanity when civil populations on both sides (Jewish and Palestinians) are treated as collateral damage. Anyone who disagrees to this statement is a war criminal!
  • Chris Blockley
    signed 2023-11-13 10:18:23 +1300
  • Anna Mary Wilkins
    signed 2023-11-13 10:18:15 +1300
  • Graeme Marchant
    signed 2023-11-13 10:18:12 +1300
    When humans are not allowed to verbalise their feelings freely, or don’t know how to verbalise their frustrations they resort to terrible physical manifestations from ill health or suicide all the way through to physical violence and murder. Humans who are secure in their search for reality, truth and their own beliefs, are able to listen to their fellow human regardless of the tone or content of the message. As the library of science, and everything else we need to understand humanity, (the Holy Bible) says, “…be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry”.
  • Marlon Dajevic
    signed 2023-11-13 10:18:10 +1300
  • Colin Appleton
    signed 2023-11-13 10:17:08 +1300
  • Don Straker
    signed 2023-11-13 10:16:56 +1300
  • Coral Searle
    signed 2023-11-13 10:16:18 +1300
  • Jenny Ayling
    signed 2023-11-13 10:15:45 +1300
  • David Keall
    signed 2023-11-13 10:15:17 +1300
  • Nita Wilde
    signed 2023-11-13 10:15:14 +1300
  • Richard Law
    signed 2023-11-13 10:15:13 +1300
  • Sennen Harry
    signed 2023-11-13 10:15:12 +1300
  • Sarah De Geest
    signed 2023-11-13 10:14:35 +1300
  • Maria Bullock
    signed 2023-11-13 10:14:07 +1300
  • Johannes Coetzee
    signed 2023-11-13 10:14:05 +1300