Larkin Grad Sits in Israeli Jail Her Parents Say They Are Proud of Her Activism

By Spak, Kara | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 11, 2003 | Go to article overview

Larkin Grad Sits in Israeli Jail Her Parents Say They Are Proud of Her Activism


Spak, Kara, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kara Spak Daily Herald Staff Writer

When Kristin Razowsky was a student at Larkin High School, she spoke out for both environmental and human rights.

More than 10 years after graduation, she now sits in an Israeli police jail, arrested for activities that were fueled by that same sense of activism.

Razowsky, 28, was arrested Friday by Israeli police in the West Bank where she was working with the pro-Palestinian group, International Solidarity Movement.

She was arrested purportedly for violating a military ban forbidding her from being in the area, though human rights groups like Amnesty International claim the arrests were part of a wider crackdown by the Israeli army to stop foreign observers from reporting human rights activity in the area.

The International Solidarity Movement gained worldwide recognition earlier this year when a volunteer acting as a "human shield" was run over and killed by an Israeli tank.

On Saturday, Razowsky's parents, Barbara and Ron, expressed pride for raising a daughter who stands by her convictions, regardless of personal cost and apprehension about her safety.

"In the beginning I was very concerned that she was going to someplace dangerous," Barbara said. "But she is very reasonable and she is an adult. And I think she is doing an important thing. People need to stand up for human rights."

The Razowskys live on Elgin's west side. Ron is retired; Barbara teaches at Lowrie Elementary School. Kristin's older sister, Erin, lives with her family in Bartlett.

The Razowskys have not spoken to Kristin, but said the State Department representative they spoke with Friday said she is "just fine," Ron said.

Kristin's journey to the West Bank started in Elgin, where her father said even as a young student she was always willing to "push the envelope."

"She's always been involved in any kind of human rights and environmental issues," Barbara said. "And she's always been someone who does everything 100 percent. Things have to be done to the hilt."

Kristin was an environmental activist at Larkin High School, and after graduating in 1992 enrolled in Northland College in Wisconsin. Ron described Northland as a cultural throwback to the 1960s, a place where folk music and tie-dye shirts were still very much in vogue, with a national reputation for environmental science. …

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