Imagine this scenario: You’re thirteen years old. You’re going into a familiar building, about to enter your security code. And suddenly, a man jumps out, holds a gun to your head, and threatens to kill you if you don’t let him in.
The gunman who forced his way into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle on Friday afternoon put a gun to the head of a 13-year-old girl to gain entry to the building, police said this afternoon.
[…] The man then presumably drove to the federation building, where he hid behind a plant in the lobby for a short time. Kerlikowske said he waited for someone to come in to gain access into the office. When the 13-year-old girl walked up, he put a gun to her head and forced her to take him inside.
“She could not have kept him out,” Kerlikowske said. “She was a hostage.” The man carried two semi-automatic handguns and extra ammunition into the federation’s offices, the chief said.
“Once inside he immediately started firing at people.”
This was a planned, premeditated assault on Jews.
Witnesses say the gunman shot one receptionist, then ordered her to dial 911. He then took the phone from her.
“He told the police that it was a hostage situation and he wanted us to get our weapons out of Israel,” said one woman who works in the building and heard the account from the wounded co-worker.
When Haq got on the phone with 911 operators, he identified himself by name and said, “This is a hostage situation and I wanted these Jews to get out,” according to a statement of probable cause. He later added, “These are Jews and I’m tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East.”
Pam Waechter, killed for the crime of being Jewish:
Martens, a long-time family friend of Waechter, said she was raised protestant in Minneapolis. Waechter converted to Judaism after marrying her ex-husband about 40 years ago, he said.
“That was one of the turning points in her life,” he said.
Martens described Waechter as a woman with a big heart.
“Pam had a heroic life of helping others,” he said. “She was always involved in community service.”
It’s Pam’s sense of humor that Martens remembers now.
“She had this great droll wit,” he said. “She was just a lovely, beautiful woman.”
So what exactly is the Jewish Federation?
“It is the Jewish version of the United Way,” said Rabbi Daniel Weiner of Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle.
But it has the word “Jewish” in its title, and therefore, it became a target of an angry Muslim terrorist. Because terrorists do to Jews what they claim everyone else does to Muslims: The make us one, monolithic group responsible for everything the others do.
Yes, the Seattle community is gathering together to stand against terror like this.
And yet, another woman is dead. Her crime?