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?

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  • Fiona Standen
    signed 2023-12-01 19:05:49 +1300
  • David Pirotta
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  • David Pirotta
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    signed 2023-12-01 01:27:08 +1300
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    signed 2023-11-30 22:53:02 +1300
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    signed 2023-11-29 18:40:29 +1300
  • Rui Martins
    signed 2023-11-28 18:05:38 +1300
  • Chaquila Venter
    signed 2023-11-28 17:26:01 +1300
    Where is the protests for Afghanistan women, or Ruthless, Malachi, Kween and thousands of other children who are beaten and killed in NZ. Where are the protests for the high domestic violence here in NZ and the slave labour? Quite frankly NZ is not going to change anything overseas when they cannot change their own patch.
  • John Klaphake
    signed 2023-11-28 16:59:21 +1300
  • Gordon Sanders
    signed 2023-11-28 16:01:48 +1300
  • Craig Schofield
    signed 2023-11-28 10:30:16 +1300
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    signed 2023-11-27 16:58:39 +1300
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    signed 2023-11-24 16:22:03 +1300
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    signed 2023-11-23 21:50:26 +1300
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  • Dion Cave
    signed 2023-11-23 14:24:36 +1300
  • Denise Bonnar
    signed 2023-11-23 14:02:20 +1300
    It’s no trick to support the free speech of somebody you agree with or to those whose opinion you are indifferent.

    The defense of free speech begins at the point when people say something you can’t stand.

    If you can’t defend their right to say it,

    then you don’t believe believe in free speech.

    Salman Rushdie
  • louise Chapman
    signed 2023-11-22 17:28:41 +1300
  • Christina McGeorge
    signed 2023-11-22 17:11:04 +1300
  • Bill O'Connell
    signed 2023-11-22 15:25:44 +1300
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    signed 2023-11-22 08:42:40 +1300
  • Ray Gallagher
    signed 2023-11-21 08:36:21 +1300
  • Sylvie Zlami
    signed 2023-11-20 17:36:13 +1300
  • Mila Doerr
    signed 2023-11-20 13:54:19 +1300
    As Above
  • Teararoa Clapperton
    signed 2023-11-20 11:24:45 +1300