On Tuesday morning, Twitter/X user @itslaylas shared a video of a man harassing a halal cart vendor on East 83rd Street and Second Avenue.
The initial video got over 2,000 comments and 9,000 retweets – and this was before the man’s identity was revealed.
At the beginning of the recording, the man could be heard threatening to call his “friends at immigration.” With a smirk on his face and a sadistic laugh peppered throughout the diatribe, he asked the vendor questions like, “Do you rape your daughter like Mohammed did?” and “What do you think of that; people who use the Quran as a toilet?”
This man wearing a green jacket was berating and harassing a halal cart vendor off 83rd and 2nd Ave in NYC. Does anyone know who this man is? Planning to report to the authorities. pic.twitter.com/GwklyXpsPH
— Layla (@itslaylas) November 21, 2023
Later on Tuesday, it was revealed that the man has been harassing this vendor for two weeks. In a follow-up video, he could be heard accusing the vendor of not being an American citizen, of being a terrorist and “a terrible person.” Then, he says “if we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what? It wasn’t enough.”
— TizzyEnt (@TizzyEnt) November 21, 2023
The man has since been identified as Stuart Seldowitz, a former advisor to President Barack Obama and a deputy director of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs from 1999 to 2003. He’s also an Upper East Sider residing at an upscale rental building, per public records.
Until Tuesday, he served as a foreign affairs chair for Gotham Government Relations, which swiftly severed its ties with the man once the video surfaced.
— Gotham Government Relations (@GothamGovt) November 21, 2023