A professor who was fired from the School of Visual Arts last year for holding a machete to a man’s neck has now been fired from her most recent gig at the Cooper Union for sharing anti-Israel material, according to the New York Post.
Shellyne Rodriguez, 47, wrote in an email to students that the “Cooper Union has fired me because of a social media post I made about ‘Zionists.'” She went on to say that it was “fascism,” adding that “[y]’all are learning about it in real time.”
In an Instagram post, Rodriguez said she was canned for making “public comments about ‘Zionists.'” While it is uncertain which comments are responsible for Rodriguez’s firing, the Cooper Union said it does not comment on personnel matters.
Rodriguez is no longer listed as an adjunct on Cooper Union’s faculty page.
The Post reported that Rodriguez was involved in a CUNY for Palestine panel in January, and she encouraged people to protest landlords and business people who had ties with Israel.
However, critics said she expressed anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Rodriguez reportedly posted a flyer on Instagram depicting a pro-Israel event with cockroaches edited on top of it.
Former Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. was one of the participants in the event. Rodriguez said: “Look at this dirty f***ing roach former bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. a Zionist lapdog.”
Conversely, Jewish students at the Cooper Union appeared to be relieved that Rodriguez was fired. Jeffrey Lax, a CUNY professor and co-founder of Students and Faculty for Equality at CUNY, said “Jewish students at Cooper Union are very relieved that they fired her.”
“Her comments were really despicable.”
“Normally, I would say I commend the university for taking action against this professor but in this case, how can I possibly say that she did something far worse before they hired her? I mean, she held a knife to a reporter’s neck,” Lax said.
“They’re not to be commended, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
In May 2023, Rodriguez held a machete up to a reporter’s neck after he went to her apartment to ask her about an incident in which she cursed at Hunter College students who were pro-life.
Rodriguez was apparently not very interested in talking about the situation, as she told the reporter to “[g]et the f*** away from my door or I’m gonna chop you up with this machete.”
At one point, Rodriguez put the blade of the machete against the reporter’s neck, according to video footage. And then she allegedly chased the reporter down and assaulted him, kicking him in the shins.
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