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Stuart Seldowitz, a former advisor to President Barack Obama was caught on camera making Islamophobic remarks and harassing a New York City food vendor, as seen in videos that emerged online Tuesday.
The videos, posted on X (formerly Twitter), depict former US government official Stuart Seldowitz making inflammatory remarks about the Prophet and the Quran.
“You support terrorism. You support killing little children. You’re a terrible person,” he says.
Meet Stuart Seldowitz, a former advisor to the White House who used to advise Obama on foreign policy.
He is a three-time winner of the State Department’s Superior Honour Award.
— Zara Magnusson (@zaramagnusson) November 21, 2023
The vendor replies, saying: “You kill children, not me.”
Before leaving, Seldowitz says: “If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what? It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough.”
Former @StateDept and NSC official Stuart Seldowitz spits racist slurs and threatens Arab street vendor in NYC. Imagine what damage this asshole must have wreaked on Arabs and Muslims when he had the authority. #HateCrime https://t.co/5IFlzmEbio
— Sharmine Narwani (@snarwani) November 21, 2023
In another video which was taken during an evening encounter with the same vendor, Seldowitz speaks about “his friends in immigration” and says “the Mukhabarat wants your picture,” referring to Egypt’s intelligence agency.
Wearing a green hoodie, he says: “The Mukhabarat in Egypt will get your parents. Does your father like his fingernails? They’ll take them out one by one.”
The vendor responds with “Go, go.”
In his defense, Seldowitz told the New York Times that he got into a disagreement with the vendor after the latter expressed support for Hamas, though this is not seen in the videos. He said he regretted making the disparaging remarks about Islam, while vehemently denying that he’s Islamophobic.
Asked why he continued returning to the vendor, Seldowitz told NYT he had wanted to ask if the man was “still a supporter of Hamas,” adding that “I was upset at the fact that he was selling food in a neighborhood in New York.”
Seldowitz served as the acting director for the National Security Council South Asia Directorate under the Obama administration. He also worked as a senior political officer in the State Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs.