A source passed along this tweet from June 2009 by David Storobin, a Russian-American lawyer who is the presumptive Republican nominee in the Brooklyn state Senate race to replace Carl Kruger.
The link that goes with the tweet has been deleted. But in the tweet itself, as you can see, Storobin refers to the president as “Proud Hussien [sic] Obama,” and then attributes a quote to Obama: “Alla [sic] ysalmak.”
That term, which is actually spelled “Allah ysalmak” in English, is a common greeting in Arabic — the equivalent of “goodbye.”
The tweet appeared the same day, early in Obama’s term, that the president made a major address in Cairo meant to repair strained relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world.
I called Storobin this morning to ask whether he was suggesting that Obama, who is Christian, was a Muslim, a widely perpetuated falsehood in right wing circles. The use of Obama’s middle name, Hussein, seems to lean that way. And Strobin’s use of an Arabic greeting, attributed to Obama, also suggests an Obama-as-Muslim reference was his intention.
Storobin has yet to respond.
The Room 8 blogger Gatemouth has also been delving into potentially offensive writings by Storobin, highlighting an interview in 2005 that Storobin conducted with a South African white supremacy group. Most of Storobin’s writings have now been deleted.
The presumptive Democratic candidate, in a heavily Jewish district, is New York City Councilman Lew Fidler. A special election will be held March 20.
Jacob Kornbluh, an activist in the Brooklyn Republican Party, called in to say that he was actually the one who sent the Obama tweet, not Storobin. Kornbluh claims that he allowed Storobin to take over his Twitter account — which already had 800 followers, and which he says was initially called Optimism For America — this April. Asked for any evidence of this claim, Kornbluh replied: “I just can’t come up with anything to show it was my account.”
I’d be interested in hearing from any savvy Twitter uses who could parse the likelihood of this scenario.
Storobin’s Twitter account has now been deleted.
Kornbluh provided an email strongly suggesting that his version of events is true. While City & State could not verify the authenticity of the email, the documents Kornbluh provided shows that he received an email alert this Mar. 11 to his personal email address showing that a Twitter user was following his @Storobin4Senate email account. Kornbluh’s email address, listed here, is the same address as that used for another, earlier Twitter account, @optimism4america, the documents he provided indicate.
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