The coming week marks five years since the murder of Pamela Waechter. Who? If the name doesn't ring a bell, here's a brief reminder: She was shot in the head by Naveed Afzal Haq, as she tried to crawl down a flight of stairs and escape, after Haq shot her in the chest.Still not jogging your memory? How about this: Waechter was the 58-year-old director of the annual campaign of the Jewish Federation of Seattle. Sometime around 4 PM, on July 28, 2006, Naveed Afzal Haq grabbed a 14-year-old girl and thrust a gun in her back. He used her to gain entry to the Federation, and then rampaged through the building, shooting six women -- Layla Bush, Christina Rexroad, Cheryl Stumbo, Dayna Klein (who was five months pregnant), Carol Goldman, and, fatally, Pamela Waechter. Tammy Kaiser jumped from a second-story window to escape, and was hospitalized with injuries.
What was Haq's motive? Well, here's an interesting clue: As he stormed through the halls, shooting and killing, he shouted, "I'm a Muslim-American! I'm angry at Israel!"
Quite a dramatic story, no? And yet it's not a story anybody wants to tell. Grab the average leftist on the street -- or, certainly, on campus -- and ask him about Rachel Corrie, the anti-Israel activist accidentally run over by an Israeli bulldozer. I bet he knows Corrie's story by heart; after all, our cultural grandees never stop pushing it as a "teaching moment" about Israeli brutality.
Likewise, gay activists turned the murder of Matthew Shepard into a universal "teaching moment" about America's homophobia and crimes against gays, and the urgent need for sensitivity training in schools.
But American Jews have found no "teaching moment" in the murder of Pamela Waechter, and the shooting of six women at work, performing the administrative tasks of the Jewish community. The tragedy of Waechter, a Lutheran who converted upon marriage and devoted her life to Judaism, remains a private heartbreak for those who loved her.
And yet, the images of the Seattle women under attack are so unbearable that the question must be shrieked from the rooftops: Where are the men?
Where are the Jewish men, who ought to be rushing to protect their wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters? Where are the Jewish men who lead the community, as Jewish women come under increasing assault, right here in America, from Islamic fanatics?
Where are the Jewish men who will stand up for the memory of Victoria Hen, a stunningly beautiful 25-year-old ticket agent, murdered at the El Al counter in Los Angeles airport on July 4, 2002? Her killer, Egyptian national Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, shot her, then opened fire on 90 people waiting in line for a Tel Aviv flight, fatally wounding Yaakov Aminov. When police searched Mohamed Hadayet's apartment after the attack, they found a sign taped to his door saying, "Read the Koran." Victoria's parents had planned a surprise party for the next day, at which her boyfriend would have formally asked for her hand in marriage.
Of course, you've probably never heard the name "Victoria Hen." Like Pamela Waechter, she's invisible in the Jewish community and everywhere else, an embarrassing victim whose death, if truly examined, would demand a courageous response.
The rest is here.