Mangi Was on the Advisory Board and Repeatedly Donated to Extreme Antisemitic, Anti-Israel, Anti-American, Terror-Affiliated Organization; Evaded Vital Questions; Made Improbable Claims of Ignorance; Has No Judicial Record
January 17, 2024
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein; Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA) President Dov Hikind; StopAntisemitism Executive Director Liora Rez; and Students Supporting Israel (SSI) Board President Valeria Chazin released the following statement:
The Zionist Organization of America, Americans Against Antisemitism, StopAntisemitism and Students Supporting Israel are all working hard to combat the surging evils of antisemitism, terrorism and defamation of the State of Israel, including on American college campuses. Especially at this difficult time, affiliations with organizations that spew antisemitism and host terrorists and terror supporters should disqualify judicial nominees. We thus strongly OPPOSE confirming Adeel Abdullah Mangi to be a Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge – a top post that it is just one step below the United States Supreme Court.
From 2019 through July 2023, Mr. Mangi was an Advisory Board member of an extreme, antisemitic, anti-Israel, anti-American, hate-mongering organization, the “Center for Security, Race, and Rights” at Rutgers Law School (CSRR), and gave repeated donations to CSRR. In addition, Mangi’s law firm, Patterson Belknapp Webb & Tyler LLP, donated $13,000 to CSRR and became a CSRR “law fellowship sponsor,” after Mangi transmitted donation requests to firm managers. Yet, when Senate Judiciary Committee members questioned Mangi about CSRR’s numerous hateful, antisemitic, terror-affiliated and anti-American activities, Mangi improbably claimed ignorance.
Mangi repeatedly asserted that he was merely a CSRR Advisory Board member; merely advised on CSRR’s “academic research”; and he had no knowledge of, responsibility for or involvement in CSRR’s activities, statements, publications, officials and featured speakers.
If a nominee for a top judicial post asserted that he was merely a Ku Klux Klan advisory board member, and merely advised on the KKK’s “academic research,” his nomination would be flatly rejected. Mangi likewise must not be confirmed.
It is moreover hard to believe that Mangi did not bother to vet CSRR’s antisemitic website and activities before repeatedly personally donating to CSRR and having his law firm also do so.
It is also deeply troubling that Mangi asserted that he never heard of hateful, infamous CSRR events featuring terror affiliates, or of public officials’ condemnations of those events.
For instance, during a December 2021 speech, posted online, Congressman Josh Gottheimer condemned CSRR for celebrating the September 11th terror attacks’ twentieth anniversary by hosting terror-affiliated speakers, including Sami al-Arian, who was convicted for funneling funds, goods and services to the designated terror organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Rep. Gottheimer stated:
At an event marking the twentieth anniversary of September 11, Rutgers’ Center for Security, Race and Rights held an event with several controversial speakers, including those who have ties to terrorist organizations.
It is unconscionable that a day meant to reflect on the deadliest attack on United States soil was used to provide a platform to those affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad — a foreign terrorist organization designated by the United States. There is simply no reason why those with ties to militant terrorist organizations, groups who have killed civilians, deserve a podium to students here at Rutgers. With domestic terrorists and homegrown violent extremists often being inspired by propaganda from foreign terrorists, we must castigate and alienate these groups and their associates wherever they are, especially at New Jersey’s flagship public university.
At another event, the same group hosted Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) — whose officials have connections to Al-Qaeda and Hamas networks.
Hamas sympathizers, or others with ties to other terrorist organizations involved in 9/11, have no place on college campuses. Associates of Palestinian Islamic Jihad have no place on this college campus.
It also seems improbable that Mangi was unaware of CSRR Executive Director Sahar Aziz’s antisemitism and CSRR’s terror-supporting events and website posts. Mangi admitted in his written testimony that Aziz personally recruited Mangi, and that Mangi met Aziz in or before 2018. Yet, Mangi’s testimony regarding Aziz’s statements and CSRR events was full of unacceptable evasions and refusals to condemn clearly antisemitic statements and CSRR events. For instance:
- Mangi pleaded ignorance about, and failed to condemn the open letter signed by CSRR Executive Director Aziz, which was posted on the CSRR website while Mangi was on the CSRR Advisory Board. The letter praised Hamas terrorism while Hamas was launching 4,500 rockets at Israel in May 2021 (saying “We are in awe of the Palestinian struggle to resist violent occupation, removal, erasure, and the expansion of Israeli settler colonialism”); denied Israel’s right to self-defense and justified Hamas terrorism (saying, for instance, that “Israel’s right to ‘self-defense’ erases the colonial context and delegitimizes the Palestinian right to resistance and to self-defense”).
- Mangi refused to answer whether he agreed with The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey’s statement that CSRR Director “Sahar Azia has regularly and consistently promoted vile antisemitic propaganda” on social media and on a Board of Education. Instead of answering the question, Mangi claimed that he had no oversight over Aziz and has not read Aziz’s posts.
- Mangi denied any responsibility regarding notorious antisemite and anti-Israel propagandist Rashid Khalidi speaking at the June, 3 2021 CSRR event named after Khalidi’s book “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917–2017,” which took place while Mangi was on the CSRR Board of Advisors – even though Mangi admitted that a law firm colleague told him about the Khalidi event. Mangi’s unacceptable excuse was that Advisory Boards don’t give advice about this. Would he also have remained silent if he was informed that a CSRR event had featured David Duke? The very nature of an Advisory Board is to give advice!
- Mangi also evaded condemning the Khalidi event after Mangi was informed that the Jewish News Center labeled it a “pro-Hamas” event and a “terrorist-whitewashing webinar With your current knowledge of the Center, do you agree that the Center promotes anti-Semitism?.”
- Mangi also professed ignorance regarding CSRR’s extensive “Resource Guide on Palestine,” prepared by CSRR and posted on the CSRR website in 2021, while Mangi served on the CSRR Advisosry Board. The CSRR resource guide lists and links to numerous antisemitic, anti-Israel, BDS and terror-linked organizations, films, books, journals, “educational resources,” websites, podcasts and reports.
- Mangi also improbably claimed to have no knowledge about other anti-Israel and anti-American CSRR events that took place during his tenure on the CSRR, including CSRR hosting speakers from the radical anti-Israel group “Jewish Voice for Peace.” And even after Senators informed Mangi about the speakers, topics and contents of numerous clearly antisemitic CSRR events, Mangi evaded the question, “With your current knowledge of the Center, do you agree that the Center promotes anti-Semitism?” Mangi instead insisted that no one associated with CSRR personally expressed antisemitic views to him.
- Mangi also repeatedly refused to condemn viciously antisemitic, anti-Israel CSRR events and statements, including some of the above-mentioned events and others, by reciting this mantra: “I do not have the expertise or factual background to express views regarding the complex history of the conflict in the Middle East, which is irrelevant to my potential work on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.” Among other instances, Mangi used his professed lack of knowledge of Middle East history to evade a question as to whether he agreed with Israel-hater Peter Beinart’s statement that “Israel, like the United States, is a settler-colonialist state,” at yet another CSRR Israel-bashing event during Mangi’s CSRR tenure in 2022, entitled “Consistent Partiality: US Foreign Policy on Palestine-Israel.”
In fact, one does not need to be an expert on Middle East history to condemn specific instances of antisemitism and antisemitic Israel-bashing.
Moreover, antisemitism and Middle East issues are highly relevant to Mangi’s potential work on the Third Circuit. There have been, are, and will be numerous court cases on these issues – including cases seeking remedies for antisemitic attacks and harassment on college campuses and on city streets; cases regarding antisemitic boycotts; and cases brought by victims of Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups under federal victims of terrorism and victims of torture statutes, to name a few.
After examining Mangi’s evasive testimony on these issues, we are extremely concerned about Mangi’s ability to render fair, knowledgeable, impartial justice to Jewish and other victims of Israel-related antisemitism and Hamas and Palestinian terrorism.
Mangi’s claim that he had a minimal “hands off” role at CSRR is also called into question by a photo that CSRR Executive Director Sahar Aziz posted on Instagram in May 2019. Mangi and Aziz posed, standing next to one another and smiling, along with fellow CSRR Advisory Board members including Rania Mustafa, in front of a Rutgers CSRR sign. The photo caption reads: “Honored to work with such a formidable braintrust of Board of Advisors to the Rutgers Center for Security, and Rights! @rutgerscsrr.” Moreover, Mangi’s fellow CSRR Advisory Board member Rania Mustafa is the Executive Director of the Palestine American Community Center (PACC), which calls for Israel’s extinction “from the river to the sea.”
Because Mangi has never served as a judge, it is especially important to hold Mangi accountable for his CSRR advisory board position and donations and his evasive responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mangi has no judicial record that the Senate and the public can examine to determine whether or not he can adjudicate cases fairly, despite his CSRR affiliation and donations.
The federal Circuit Courts of Appeal are the highest courts in the land beneath the U.S. Supreme Court. The majority of nominees for federal Courts of Appeal judgeships (and the majority of Third Circuit judges) had years of experience in the lower federal courts (the District Courts) or in state courts. It is downright dangerous to elevate Mangi to a lifetime Court of Appeals judgeship when he has no judicial record to examine and such alarming associations.
We also note those Jewish organizations that are supporting Mr. Mangi do not represent the views and deep concerns of the majority of American Jews or the majority of decent Americans.
We thus strongly urge the Senate to vote against Adeel Abdullah Mangi’s confirmation.
The Zionist Organization of America
Americans Against Antisemitism
Students Supporting Israel
View the letter as a pdf here.