Former US Adviser Stuart Seldowitz Faces Backlash For Harassing Halal Food Vendor

Former adviser to former President Barack Obama Stuart Seldowitz is facing backlash after a video of him harassing a halal food vendor in New York surfaced.

Stuart who previously served as deputy director of the United States Department of State’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, was caught on video insulting and threatening the vendor. 

In the video and with the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, he told his adversary that more Palestinian children should die.

“If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, it wasn’t enough,” Seldowitz says calmly in one exchange captured on video and posted on the social media platform X. 

He also accused the vendor of being a terrorist. 

“The Mukhabarat in Egypt will get your parents. Does your father like his fingernails? They’ll take them out one by one,” Seldowitz says smiling.

The vendor is heard repeatedly asking him to leave and telling him he does not speak English.

“You should learn English, it’ll help you when they deport you back to Egypt and the Mukhabarat wants to interview you,” Seldowitz tells the vendor with a grin.

In an interview with the New York Times, the former adviser said he regretted his actions. 

“I got rather upset and I’ve said things to him that in retrospect, I probably regret,” Seldowitz told the newspaper. “Instead of focusing on him and what he said, I expanded into insulting his religion and so on.”

Seldowitz also insisted that he is not Islamophobic, saying that he has many Muslim and Arab colleagues who could vouch for him. 

Since October 7, frequent pro-Israel and pro-Palestine demonstrations have taken place in New York, which has large Muslim and Jewish populations.