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.

3,534 signature
Goal: 5000 signature

Will you sign?

Showing 2199 reactions

  • Mark Benge
    signed 2023-11-11 08:35:56 +1300
  • Sanne van Steensel
    signed 2023-11-11 08:35:39 +1300
  • Debra Niceski
    signed 2023-11-11 08:35:38 +1300
  • Sandra Breckon
    signed 2023-11-11 08:35:30 +1300
    I celebrate Anzac Day because it is a reminder that war does not bring peace in any form but the creates the destruction of human lives.
  • Jim Mason
    signed 2023-11-11 08:35:02 +1300
  • Jolanta du Fresne
    signed via 2023-11-11 08:34:20 +1300
  • Gail Godtschalk
    signed 2023-11-11 08:34:14 +1300
    This is very confronting, innocent civilians on both sides are being murdered and to see either protest especially in NZ is very troubling to me, or what this could do to our already fractured society especially to the very citizens in NZ that associates with either side. Will never profess to understanding what is going on, yet I pray for peace.
  • John Coffin
    signed 2023-11-11 08:34:08 +1300
  • Diana Ekren
    signed 2023-11-11 08:33:55 +1300
  • John Hill
    signed 2023-11-11 08:33:27 +1300
    Easy to sit in NZ watching from afar and being spoon fed by the media. Im in France and just before in the UK the muslim aggression is beyond belief.

    I think the time for tolerance is over. Hamas needs to be destroyed they have oppressed the Palastine peopleand are all out terrorist group who hide behind civilians. Cannot sign this, the time for tolerance has ended.

    I support Israel 100% in destroying Hamas.
  • Jiarui Sun
    signed 2023-11-11 08:33:23 +1300
  • Dinah Malyon
    signed 2023-11-11 08:33:22 +1300
  • Barry O'Connell
    signed 2023-11-11 08:33:20 +1300
  • Dave Bufton
    signed 2023-11-11 08:32:49 +1300
  • Jim Sutcliffe
    signed 2023-11-11 08:32:34 +1300
  • Robin Mackenzie-Suggate
    signed 2023-11-11 08:32:12 +1300
  • Ken Hoolihan
    signed 2023-11-11 08:32:06 +1300
  • Les Counsell
    signed 2023-11-11 08:32:02 +1300
  • Derrick Moot
    signed 2023-11-11 08:31:57 +1300
  • Isla McCoy
    signed 2023-11-11 08:31:56 +1300
  • Anne Allan
    signed 2023-11-11 08:31:31 +1300
  • Roger Boulter
    signed 2023-11-11 08:31:28 +1300
  • Des McGrath
    signed 2023-11-11 08:31:14 +1300
  • Patrice Jones
    signed 2023-11-11 08:31:10 +1300
  • Peter Lynch
    signed 2023-11-11 08:31:08 +1300
  • Peter Snell
    signed 2023-11-11 08:30:57 +1300
    Violence is never the answer to the problems we face in our own personal world and the world at large. Tollerence is required toward people different from ourselves and we may actually learn something
  • Chris Jenkins
    signed 2023-11-11 08:30:56 +1300
  • Patricia Frost
    signed 2023-11-11 08:30:50 +1300
  • Murray Hollings
    signed 2023-11-11 08:30:44 +1300
  • Linda Wright
    signed 2023-11-11 08:30:38 +1300