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

  • Ngaire Grainger
    signed 2023-11-11 08:52:20 +1300
  • Gill Sanders
    signed 2023-11-11 08:52:19 +1300
  • John Nesbitt
    signed 2023-11-11 08:52:12 +1300
  • Graeme Reinhardt
    signed 2023-11-11 08:50:37 +1300
    The world has gone mad.
  • Rowena Haldane
    signed 2023-11-11 08:50:32 +1300
  • David Gear
    signed 2023-11-11 08:50:09 +1300
  • Jessica Bensen
    signed 2023-11-11 08:49:48 +1300
    We are all human beings, we must never forget!
  • Stefan Tyler
    signed 2023-11-11 08:49:33 +1300
  • Peter Dornauf
    signed 2023-11-11 08:48:59 +1300
    Deep hatreds and volatile people on both sides. An impossible situation. Disturbing rise in extremism in New Zealand.
  • Hannah Winder
    signed 2023-11-11 08:48:42 +1300
  • Peter Cottier
    signed 2023-11-11 08:48:41 +1300
  • Robert Biggs
    signed 2023-11-11 08:48:17 +1300
    The need for violent retribution and vengeance has not worked anywhere and has muddled things between the Arabs and Israelis since 1947. It is a good example of what not to do.
  • Sally Kilpatrick
    signed 2023-11-11 08:48:17 +1300
  • Peter Glaister
    signed 2023-11-11 08:48:15 +1300
    I consider our civilisation is at stake. Clear uninhibited discourse will expose the way forward and the fallacies for what they are.
  • Philip Temple
    signed 2023-11-11 08:48:09 +1300
  • Cyril Gwyn
    signed 2023-11-11 08:47:33 +1300
  • John Harmsen
    signed 2023-11-11 08:47:21 +1300
  • Pat Sale
    signed 2023-11-11 08:47:05 +1300
  • Bruce Dixon
    signed 2023-11-11 08:47:03 +1300
  • Keith Harrison
    signed 2023-11-11 08:46:56 +1300
  • Tracy Hourigan
    signed 2023-11-11 08:46:51 +1300
  • Raymond Halliday
    signed 2023-11-11 08:46:43 +1300
  • Ian kilpatrick
    signed 2023-11-11 08:46:25 +1300
  • David Winefield
    signed 2023-11-11 08:46:13 +1300
    But I want to emphasise that I fully uphold the rights of Israel to defend itself to the end against the barbarism exhibited against them and their people. Antisemitism is an abomination whenever, wherever, or why it is practised.
  • Rosemary McQueen
    signed 2023-11-11 08:45:54 +1300
  • Colin Hildreth
    signed 2023-11-11 08:45:32 +1300
    I call for both Israeli and international hostages to be freed from the tunnels where they are being held by force. I call that those innocent Palestine people being held as human shields in this conflict be allowed to move to places of safety out of the war zone. I am saddened by the destruction of community for those ordinary people caught up in the conflict and the prospect of their dislocation due to flattening caused through it.
  • Greg Lagan
    signed 2023-11-11 08:44:55 +1300
  • Kevin Seque
    signed 2023-11-11 08:44:52 +1300
  • Catherine Hayes
    signed 2023-11-11 08:44:51 +1300
  • Jill Ware
    signed 2023-11-11 08:44:49 +1300