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Sens. Cruz, Graham, Republican Judiciary Committee Colleagues Push Back on Rutgers University for Radical Efforts to Promote Antisemitic Violence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joined Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Ranking Member Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in sending investigatory letters about the source of financial support for the Rutgers University Center for Security, Race and Rights. The Center sponsors events featuring antisemitic speakers who justify violence against the State of Israel, convicted terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, and advocates of domestic radicalism. The Biden administration’s nominee for the Third Circuit, Adeel Mangi, served for several years as an advisory board member of the Center and made donations to support its mission.

In a letter to the Rutgers Center for Security, Race and Rights, Judiciary Committee Republicans sought information from the President of Rutgers University and the Chair of its Board of Governors regarding the University’s support of the Center.  In particular, the Senators are probing whether U.S. taxpayer dollars fund the Center, and what role foreign governments play in supporting the Center’s activities.

In the letter, Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members wrote, “The work of the Center, its promotion of terrorist sympathizers, and its platforming of radical ideologues is troubling to us as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Committee has a long history of working on legislation meant to root out support for terrorism, and to compensate its victims. For example, in 2016 Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)… As the Committee explores the efficacy of this legislation, particularly in the context of recent world events, it is appropriate to evaluate the financial backing of groups that seek to legitimize violence and provide platforms for terrorist sympathizers.”

In a second letter, the Senators sought information from New York City law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, which Judiciary Committee records indicate donated at least $13,000 to the Rutgers Center’s Law Fellows Program over the past three years. A cornerstone of the Law Fellows Program is a “one-on-one mentorship” with the Center’s Director, Professor Sahar Aziz, who regularly and publicly espouses antisemitic propaganda. As part of the congressional oversight process, Judiciary Committee staff requested an informal, non-public discussion with Patterson Belknap on this topic, but the firm declined.  Adeel Mangi is a partner at Patterson Belknap.

Sens. Cruz and Graham were joined by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) in sending both letters.

Read the full text of the letter to Rutgers University here.

Read the full text of the letter to Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP here.


Sen Cruz has consistently fought back against antisemitism on college campuses:

  • In December 2023, Sen. Cruz questioned Biden judicial nominee Adeel Mangi at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where he grilled Mangi about the Center’s embrace of antisemitic extremism and myopia.  During the questioning, Mangi refused to denounce the statements of the Director of the Center in which she referred to Israel as an “occupying force” and Israel as engaging in “settler colonialism.” Watch Sen. Cruz’s questioning here.
  • In October 2023, Sen. Cruz joined Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) in sending a letter to then Harvard University President Claudine Gay demanding that their alma mater condemn the antisemitic statements made by student organizations at Harvard University. Read that letter here.