Former Obama adviser arrested after anti-Palestinian comments to food cart worker – The Last News

Former Obama adviser arrested after anti-Palestinian comments to food cart worker

A former Obama administration adviser has been arrested after videos shared on social media showed him using Islamophobic language against a New York City food cart worker.

Stuart Seldowitz, 64, was arrested Wednesday on preliminary charges of hate crime, stalking, second-degree aggravated harassment, stalking causing fear and stalking at employment.

Seldowitz is a former State Department employee and national security adviser. He confirmed to CNN before his arrest that it was him in the videos.

NYPD confirmed there is a report on file for aggravated harassment at 2nd Avenue and 83rd Street.

The victim was a 24-year-old male who told police Seldowitz approached him at his workplace multiple times and made anti-Islamic statements “multiple times on different dates” and caused him to feel afraid and annoyed.

The videos show him mocking Islam, taunting the man about his citizenship status, accusing him of supporting Hamas and referencing the ongoing war between Israel and the militant Palestinian group.

In the video, Seldowitz said, “I’m gonna put big signs here that say ‘This guy believes in Hamas,’” “You’re a terrorist, you support terrorism,” and, “If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what, it wasn’t enough.”

His arrest comes at a time when antisemitism and anti-Muslim rhetoric is on the rise in the U.S. in the weeks since Hamas entered Israel in a surprise attack and killed more than 1,200 people.

A D.C.-based lobbying firm cut ties with Seldowitz several days ago after the videos circulated.

According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the country is seeing “historic” levels of antisemitism, with actions targeting the Jewish community after the war began. Palestinian American groups have also grown increasingly worried over the past several weeks after an uptick in violence. The number of Islamophobic incidents in the U.S. has dramatically spiked, advocacy groups said.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Tuesday that New York’s government is stepping up its fight against online hate and an uptick of hateful rhetoric since the start of the conflict.

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