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Ex Obama Adviser Says Killing 4,000 Palestinian Children ‘Wasn’t Enough’


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November 21


Manisha Krishnan


A lobbying group has cut ties with an ex-adviser to former President Barack Obama after videos surfaced that show the man making Islamophobic comments and threats to a food cart employee in New York City. 

The videos, posted on Twitter by a Columbia University student, shows Stuart Seldowitz asking someone off camera, “Did you rape your daughter like Muhammad did?” and saying that killing 4,000 Palestinian children “wasn’t enough.” 

Seldowitz was acting director for the National Security Council South Asia Directorate under Obama and was deputy director/senior political officer in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs from 1999 to 2003. More recently, he served as foreign affairs chair for Gotham Government Relations, which announced his new role in a press release in November 2022. 

On Tuesday afternoon, Gotham announced on Twitter that it had cut ties with Seldowitz. 

“Gotham Government Relations has ended all affiliation with Stuart Seldowitz, an individual who hasn't contributed to our work in years. The video of his actions is vile, racist, and beneath the dignity of the standards we practice at our firm,” the statement said. His page has also been removed from the firm’s website. 

Neither Gotham nor Seldowitz responded to VICE News’ requests for comment.

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In one of the two-minute videos, Seldowitz has his phone out and is speaking to a man who appears to be inside a food cart. Seldowitz mentions his “friends in immigration” and says, “the Mukhabarat wants your picture,” seemingly referring to an Egyptian intelligence agency. 

“The Mukhabarat in Egypt will get your parents. Does your father like his fingernails? They’ll take them out one by one,” he continues, as the man he’s addressing repeatedly tells him to leave and says he doesn’t speak English. 

“Tell me why I should go? I’m standing here. I’m an American. It’s a free country. It’s not like Egypt,” Seldowitz responds. He instructs the man to “smile for me” as he holds his phone up. 

Seldowitz then repeatedly asks, “Did you rape your daughter like Muhammad did?” When the man again says he doesn’t speak English, Seldowitz calls him “ignorant.” 

“Muhammad, your prophet... He was a rapist,” he says. 

Seldowitz then asks the man if he speaks Arabic, “the language of the Quran.” 

“The holy Quran that some people use as a toilet. What do you think of that, people who used the Quran as a toilet? Does it bother you?” he asks, laughing. 

He then berates the man for not speaking English. 

“That’s why you're selling food in a food cart, because you’re ignorant. But you should learn English, it’ll help you when they deport you back to Egypt and then Mukhabarat wants to interview you.” 

A second video shows Seldowitz holding up two buttons to the food cart’s windows, one says Israel on it; the other is hard to discern. 

“It’s not my fault that you pray to a criminal,” Seldowitz says when the food cart employee opens the windows. The employee asks Seldowitz to leave “please” but Seldowitz refuses. 

“I’m going to put up big signs here that says ‘This guy believes in Hamas,’” Seldowitz says and accuses the vendor of not having a permit or visa. 

When the vendor says he’s an American citizen, Seldowitz asks how he became a citizen and calls him a “terrorist.” 

“You support killing little children. You’re a terrible person,” Seldowitz says. 

The vendor responds, “You kill children, not me.” 

Seldowitz says, “If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough.” 

Seldowitz was recently interviewed about the Israel-Hamas war in an hour-long podcast. 



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