Former Obama adviser says killing of 4,000 Palestinian children 'wasn’t enough'

Videos show Stuart Seldowitz making Islamophobic comments to food seller in New York

Former US official harasses street food seller with Islamophobic comments

Former US official harasses street food seller with Islamophobic comments
Powered by automated translation

Live updates: Follow the latest news on Israel-Gaza

A former adviser to Barack Obama has been recorded making Islamophobic comments to a street food seller in New York City.

Stuart Seldowitz, who was also deputy director of the US State Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs from 1999 to 2003, was filmed berating a halal food seller in Manhattan.

Videos of the incident were shared widely on social media platforms, including X.

In one video, Mr Seldowitz, acting director for the National Security Council South Asia Directorate during Mr Obama's time as president, accuses the man of supporting Hamas.

He also tells the man: “If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what? It wasn’t enough.”

In another video, Mr Seldowitz asks the seller if he is Egyptian, before saying he has “friends in immigration”. Mr Seldowitz then says “the Mukhabarat [Egyptian intelligence agency] wants your picture”, before taking a photograph of the man.

Mr Seldowitz told The New York Times he regretted his remarks.

“I got rather upset and I’ve said things to him that in retrospect I probably regret,” he said.

He told the newspaper he was not Islamophobic.

“I’ve worked with Muslims,” he said. “I have many people who are Muslims and Arabs and so on, who know me very well and who know that I’m not prejudiced against them.”

Updated: November 22, 2023, 10:08 AM