A former national security adviser in the Obama administration has come under intense fire after a series of videos showing him harassing a street vendor in New York by making Islamophobic comments garnered significant traction on social media. In the video, 64-year-old Stuart Seldowitz was seen calling the street vendor a "terrorist" and saying "if we killed 4,000 Palestinian children, it wasn't enough".
Seldowitz, a three-time winner of the State Department's Superior Honor Award, unleashed the Islamophobic diatribe against the street vendor on New York's Upper East Side by calling him a "rapist" and "terrorist". He went on to threaten the man and his family with torture by the Egyptian intelligence agency the Mukhabarat. Moreover, Seldowitz mocked the vendor for not speaking English.
"That's why you're selling food in in a food cart, because you're ignorant, but you should learn English. It'll help you when they deport you back to Egypt," Seldowitz said in one of the videos. “The Mukhabarat will get your parents. Does your father like his fingernails? They’ll take them out one by one.”
Seldowitz continued with the harassment even the vendor told him to leave multiple times. However, he replied, “Why should I go? It’s America, it's a free country. Not like Egypt.”
In another video, Seldowitz held a button with Israel printed on it and accused the vendor of supporting Hamas. “I’m going to put up big signs here that say ‘This guy believes in Hamas.’”
Lobbying firm severs ties with Sedowitz
Gotham Government Relations a Washington DC-based lobbying firm where Seldowitz worked as a foreign affairs chair, announced cutting ties with him. Calling his behavior “vile and racist”, the firm said that Seldowitz had not contributed to the work at the firm "in years". However, Gotham Government Relations announced in a press release on November 29, 2022, Seldowitz was their new foreign affairs chair.