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.

3,500 signature
Goal: 5000 signature

Will you sign?

Showing 2170 reactions

  • Hassan Boulmarouf
    signed 2023-11-14 13:27:54 +1300
    Allowing all parties to speak their full mind is the only way to modulate each side’s opinion and finally get to the truth.

    Trying to stifle the opposing opinion is a sign of weakness of arguments.

    And from the Quran point of view, stifling an opposing opinion

    is against the will of God that has allowed that opposing opinion to form and be,

    no matter what that opinion is (at least in two spots: Quran 5:48 and Quran 11:118)
  • Zsuzsanna Worth
    signed 2023-11-13 15:43:37 +1300
    New Zealand, as a Monarchy, shouldn’t support terrorism. Stand with Israel.
  • Ryan Young
    signed 2023-11-13 15:07:54 +1300
  • Marian McIntosh
    signed 2023-11-13 15:05:56 +1300
  • Stephen Blackheath
    signed 2023-11-13 15:03:39 +1300
  • Maureen Davidge
    signed 2023-11-13 15:01:05 +1300
  • Gaile Fornusek
    signed 2023-11-13 15:00:21 +1300
  • John Dean
    signed 2023-11-13 14:59:57 +1300
  • Lourette Wiehahn
    signed 2023-11-13 14:59:52 +1300
    It’s all about allowing and accepting diversity of ideas and the ability to have civilized debate instead of uncivilized violence.
  • Jenny Gillespie
    signed 2023-11-13 14:59:32 +1300
  • Lindsay Metcalf
    signed 2023-11-13 14:59:20 +1300
  • Annette Wood
    signed 2023-11-13 14:56:48 +1300
  • Brody Radford
    signed 2023-11-13 14:56:21 +1300
  • Josephine Marsden
    signed via 2023-11-13 14:48:43 +1300
  • Nicola Stevenson
    signed 2023-11-13 14:46:35 +1300
  • john abraham
    signed 2023-11-13 14:44:43 +1300
    disgusted that a sitting greens MP said words "river to the sea’ why no condemnation or action against her.

    90% of these pro palestinian demonstrators are greens/Muslim immigrants or refugees and people like minto and likes. No condemnations of hamas or the killings or rockets fired indiscriminately.
  • Henry Hobson
    signed 2023-11-13 14:43:53 +1300
  • Barrie Church
    signed 2023-11-13 14:41:05 +1300
  • Kevin Palmer
    signed via 2023-11-13 14:40:29 +1300
  • Barton Hills
    signed 2023-11-13 14:39:52 +1300
    All parties cease hostile actions
  • Andy Wilkes
    signed 2023-11-13 14:39:43 +1300
  • Chris Wilkins
    signed 2023-11-13 14:39:39 +1300
  • Karen L Loughnan
    signed 2023-11-13 14:39:07 +1300
  • Susan Short
    signed 2023-11-13 14:36:23 +1300
  • Mark Collett
    signed 2023-11-13 14:33:37 +1300
  • Linda Willows
    signed 2023-11-13 14:32:46 +1300
  • Yolanda van den Bemd
    signed 2023-11-13 14:32:10 +1300
  • Rommel Anthony
    signed 2023-11-13 14:31:49 +1300
  • Terry Carroll
    signed 2023-11-13 14:30:44 +1300
    Democratic Freedom of speech carries the right that both sides of the issue to express their views hopefully factually and in a civil manner done in a non inflammatory way. Long term peace can only come through negotiations that can find a way that both sides will accept for a long term peace to prevail God willing . Let’s hope a cease fire can be agreed to asap then start the difficult task of seeking a long term solution. ONY With peace will the innocent people both sides be able to get on with their lives.
  • Carol Bozich
    signed 2023-11-13 14:27:46 +1300