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Pre-2008 Posts

Starhawk Denied Entry, Deported from Israel


Starhawk, author of many works celebrating the Goddess movement and Earth-based, feminist spirituality arrived in Tel Aviv Wednesday, 12 March.

She was here to help teach a permaculture course in the northern West Bank as well as working with earth activists to develop a project in the Bethlehem area.

Dr. Joanne Taylor, a British psychologist commented on the deportation “clearly the Israeli authorities are paranoid even about letting people grow crops and conserve rainwater on their own land.”

Declaring herself as ‘a peace, environmental, and global justice activist and trainer, a permaculture designer and teacher, a Pagan and Witch’, perhaps this earthy combination was just too threatening for the powers that be. Starhawk’s key message is that the power we hold within ourselves has potential far greater than any people can have over us.

Certainly survival of the Palestinian people depends on being able to feed themselves; whilst even access to water is under threat from the Israeli military occupation, learning ways to recycle and store this is an urgent priority.

One of the most respected voices in modern earth-based spirituality, Starhawk is also well-known as a global justice activist and organizer, whose work and writings have inspired many to action. Her works have been translated into many languages and her essays reprinted across the world.

An ‘out’ lesbian, Starhawk’s newest book is The Earth Path: Grounding Your Spirit in the Rhythms of Nature. It would seem that Israel has much to fear from such open-minded thinking and this cowardly move will only help spread her word more widely.


Starhawk is the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants.   It is only over the last couple of years, really the last year, that I have read her books, and I am finding them to be outstanding.  Here is a quote from Truth or Dare– Encounters with Power, Authority and Mystery:

In the dismembered world, war sets the pattern for every system, every institution of a culture based on power-over.  To create a new society, we must stop war, or it will continue to shape our psyche in its  image, to supercede all human  needs and warp our desires, to replace love with its hierarchy.

Contemplating the system of domination that war generates can depress us; it can seem  huge and overwhelming, a machine of enormous weight crushing the fruits of our lives.  Self-propelled and self-maintained with all the facets of oppression reinforcing each other with well-oiled precision, it seems invincible.  Especially painful is the recognition that we are not separate from the systems of control, but a part of them.

But we need not despair.  Blink your eyes; look again.  War’s very scope is the telltale evidence of war’s fragility.  The system of war encompasses all systems because only thus can war be sustained.  If the whole world must feed war, then even a small decrease in sustenance can starve war.  If war’s weight is so great that many are crushed underfoot, then a little softening of the ground can sink the lumbering beast.  If war is a towering edifice, then a crack in the foundation can bring it down. 

Domination is a system and we are part of it, and in that lies  hope.  For any system is always in delicate balance, dependent for its stability on the feedback of its parts.  When the feedback changes, so does the system…

Dominance is not the creation of some evil force, but the result of millions of human choices, made again and again over time.  Just so can domination be undone, by our shaping of new choices, by small and repeated acts of liberation. ….

A society that could heal the dismembered world would recognize the inherent value of each person and of the plant, animal and elemental life that makes up the earth’s living body; it would offer real protection, encourage free expression, and reestablish an ecological balance to be biologically and economically sustainable.  Its underlying metaphor would be mystery, the sense of wonder at all that is beyond us and around us, at the forces that sustain our lives and the intricate complexity and beauty of their dance.

Thanks to the Z Budapest list for the heads up. 



8 thoughts on “Starhawk Denied Entry, Deported from Israel

  1. Starhawk’s books have been important to me since I was in my 20s. Her nonfiction works are important for my religious beliefs, and her fiction provides glimpses into a world that could be.

    And THIS news story, about Israel, is infuriating.

    Posted by ceejay1968 | March 16, 2008, 6:30 pm
  2. I thought you might be interested in this:

    Starhawk’s own account of the incident on the Women and Spirituality blog.

    Like many other women, Starhawk’s books have been so important to me too (ever since I stole a copy of The Spiral Dance from the library as a teenager! :/) – she has a very powerful voice, an amazing writer. x

    Posted by Debs | March 16, 2008, 7:56 pm
  3. What ever happened to the law of return in Israel?

    Posted by Satsuma | March 16, 2008, 9:30 pm
  4. The law of return, as I understand it, only applies if you are still Jewish as your stated religion. Jews who convert to Christianity or seemingly in this case Paganism are not welcome.

    Posted by Arietty | March 16, 2008, 10:58 pm
  5. Wow, I was dreaming about her book “The Fifth Sacred Thing” last night, then woke up and came and read this – what timing! I need to read that book again, apparently.
    Starhawk is amazing, as is her work.

    It’s so wrong that she is being forbidden to teach permaculture, of all things!

    Posted by Eeni B Bella | March 17, 2008, 12:22 pm
  6. Arietty,

    Good point. I really don’t know if Starhawk still considers herself Jewish. Probably Israel would be none too thrilled with her paganism.

    Posted by Satsuma | March 17, 2008, 7:44 pm
  7. Starhawk was a human sheild against Israeli bulldozers in Palestine in 2003. She was there when Rachel Corrie was murdered. I think this has something to do with it.

    Posted by Lauren | March 18, 2008, 3:13 am


  1. Pingback: Feminist Peace Network » Israel Arrests And Deports Starhawk - March 17, 2008

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