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Friday, February 23, 2024

“Former U.S. Government Official Taken into Custody Following Viral Video of Harassment Against Halal Street Vendor”

Halal Street Vendor In a significant turn of events, Stuart Seldowitz, a 64-year-old former U.S. State Department official, was arrested by the New York Police on Wednesday. The arrest stems from a widely circulated video capturing Seldowitz’s harassment of an Egyptian halal street vendor. He now faces charges including aggravated harassment, hate crime stalking, and stalking causing fear.

Video Sparks Outrage Over Anti-Islamic Remarks

The incident, recorded earlier this month, portrays multiple heated exchanges between Seldowitz and the unidentified halal vendor, focusing on the Israeli-Hamas conflict. Seldowitz’s anti-Islamic statements, such as calling the vendor a terrorist and suggesting the death of 4,000 Palestinian children “wasn’t enough,” triggered public outrage.

Victim Reports Fear and Annoyance: Halal Street Vendor

The 24-year-old male victim reported to the police that Seldowitz repeatedly approached him at his workplace, instilling fear and annoyance with his anti-Islamic rhetoric. The case sheds light on the escalating tensions surrounding the ongoing Middle East conflict and its reverberations in the United States.

Seldowitz’s Defense and Background: Halal Street Vendor

In his defense on local television news, Seldowitz argued that the video failed to present the full story. He claimed his strong reaction was provoked by the vendor expressing support for Hamas attacks on Israel. While acknowledging that some comments may have been inappropriate, Seldowitz maintained that calling out the vendor for supporting terrorism was justified.

Seldowitz’s past roles in the Obama administration and the State Department, including his work at the Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs, came under scrutiny. His arrest underscores the broader issue of rising antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States amid the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

State Department Responds

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller emphasized the U.S. government’s unequivocal stance against racist or discriminatory language. As of now, Reuters has been unable to reach Seldowitz for additional comments on the unfolding situation.

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