Adeel Mangi Has Downplayed His Work With This Anti-Semitic Think Tank. Its Director Said He Was Part of its ‘Formidable Braintrust.’

Adele Mangi (C) and fellow Rutgers Board of Advisors members (saharazizlaw/Instagram)
June 3, 2024

Embattled Biden judicial nominee Adeel Mangi has repeatedly claimed to have had a "limited" role at a think tank known for anti-Semitic rhetoric and affiliation with convicted terrorists. The group's executive director had a different perspective.

Mangi, the nominee for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, has said his advisory board position at the Rutgers University Center for Race, Security, and Rights "was limited to providing advice on academic areas of research, primarily through a meeting held once a year."

But Sahar Aziz, the executive director of the Rutgers Center, called Mangi and other advisory board members part of her "formidable braintrust" in a May 2019 Instagram post. Aziz stood next to Mangi and other members of the advisory board in the photo, first spotted by the watchdog group StopAntisemitism.

It’s not the first evidence that calls into question Mangi’s statements about his work with the Rutgers Center, which has imperiled Mangi’s nomination because of its anti-Israel views. Mangi told senators he left the center’s board in June 2023 over disagreements with its academic output. But emails show Mangi informed Aziz he was leaving the board because he had other time commitments, the Washington Free Beacon reported. In his resignation email, Mangi praised the center’s "excellent work" and pledged his "ongoing financial support."

Mangi began downplaying his role following reports that the center hosted a 9/11 anniversary event with convicted terrorism financier Sami al-Arian in 2021. Republicans have also criticized Aziz over a letter she signed in 2021 which expressed "awe" at the "Palestinian struggle to resist violent occupation, removal, erasure, and the expansion of Israeli settler colonialism."

Many of the center’s faculty affiliates have espoused anti-Israel views. Columbia professor Joseph Massad, a faculty affiliate, called Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel "awesome." Hatem Bazian, the founder of Students for Justice in Palestine, a pro-Hamas group, is also a faculty affiliate of the Rutgers center.

Mangi’s nomination hangs by a thread after three Senate Democrats said they would vote against him. But the White House has refused to pull his nomination, accusing Mangi’s critics of "Islamophobia" against the first Muslim nominee for the federal appeals court.

"Adeel Mangi has repeatedly downplayed his connections to the antisemitic Rutgers Center for Race, Security and Rights, but this photo only further refutes his claims," said Liora Rez, the executive director of StopAntisemitism. "The math already demonstrates that Mr. Mangi cannot be confirmed, and this news should only further erode his dwindling support."

Mangi has said he opposes terrorism and anti-Semitism, but he has declined to say if he thinks Israel illegally occupies Gaza. He told lawmakers he lacked "the expertise or factual background" to weigh in on the "complex history of the conflict in the Middle East."

Other emails show Mangi introduced Aziz to the head of the Alliance of Families for Justice, an anti-prison group that has imperiled Mangi’s nomination. The Alliance of Families for Justice, where Mangi serves as an advisory board member, has referred to six convicted cop killers as "freedom fighters," claiming they were set up by the FBI because of their involvement in the black liberation movement.

Kathy Boudin, a member of the terrorist group Weather Underground, was a founding board member of the alliance. She served 23 years in prison for her role in the murder of two New York police officers during a robbery orchestrated by Weather Underground. Mangi currently serves on the alliance’s board with Susan Rosenberg, a former Weather Underground member who cofounded a Marxist group that bombed the U.S. Senate office in 1983. Then-president Bill Clinton pardoned Rosenberg in 2001 over the objection of police groups and then-Rep. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.).

Mangi amended his response to the Senate Judiciary Committee after the Washington Examiner reported he moderated a panel with Aziz at a conference for the National Association of Muslim Lawyers in 2022. The conference was co-sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an anti-Israel group linked to Hamas.

Mangi and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.