Obama’s Adviser Arrested for Hate Crime
Since the start of the conflict between Israel and Gaza last October, hate crimes have seen a significant increase. The war in the Middle East has led to people of Jewish and Muslim origin experiencing these acts directed against them. Global authorities have warned citizens about potential crimes and acts directed towards them solely because of their background. In addition, an ex-adviser from the Obama administration was captured carrying out these racist acts.
The former adviser, Stuart Seldowitz, was arrested by authorities on Wednesday, November 22, after he was caught on camera making Islamophobic remarks to a street vendor of Egyptian origin in New York. He has been charged with three counts of harassment, including one for a hate crime.
A social media user filmed 64-year-old Seldowitz harassing and insulting the halal food vendor in Manhattan, New York. The former National Security adviser mocked the Muslim worker, asking if he had sexually abused his daughter “like Muhammad.” When the worker requested him to leave, Seldowitz proceeded to intimidate him, even calling him a “terrorist.” In a subsequent interview with NBC News, Seldowitz attempted to justify his behavior, claiming it stemmed from an “innocent” conversation about the vendor’s support for the Hamas group’s attack on Israel.
The company where Seldowitz worked, Gotham Government Relations, has since severed ties with him, denouncing his actions as racist and against the company’s values. The video of his actions has sparked outrage on social media, with users condemning his behavior and criticizing the decision to give him a platform to defend his actions.
The incident comes in the midst of a surge in anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City, with eight reported incidents in October and a total of 15 anti-Muslim hate crimes so far in 2023. People of Jewish descent have reported vandalism in the form of Star of David graffiti on their homes and properties in various parts of the world.
The video of Seldowitz’s confrontation with the vendor in New York has been widely shared on social media, prompting discussions about the growing trend of hate crimes and the need to address discriminatory behavior.