Former US State Department official Stuart Seldowitz, 64, was arrested by New York police on charges of aggravated harassment, hate crime stalking, and related offenses.
The arrest followed an incident where Seldowitz allegedly made anti-Islamic statements towards a 24-year-old Egyptian halal street vendor, causing fear and annoyance.
Viral Video Sparks Outrage Amid Israeli-Hamas Conflict:
A video that went viral captured multiple heated exchanges between Seldowitz and the unidentified halal cart worker over the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
Seldowitz’s remarks included contentious statements about Palestinian children and accusations of terrorism directed at the vendor, prompting widespread social media outrage.
Context and Seldowitz’s Defense:
Seldowitz defended his actions to local media, claiming his remarks were triggered by the vendor’s alleged support for Hamas attacks on Israel.
He acknowledged his comments might have crossed a line but maintained that calling out support for terrorism was justified.
Professional Background and State Department Response:
Seldowitz’s LinkedIn profile indicates his previous roles in the Obama administration’s National Security Council and the State Department, specifically in the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs.
However, he couldn’t be reached for comment by Reuters. The State Department reiterated its opposition to discriminatory language following the incident.
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