NYC college professor who held machete to reporter’s throat FIRED from new teaching gig over anti-Israel remarks

Feb 4, 2024 | Political News

The NYC college professor who went viral for holding a machete to the throat of a New York Post reporter has been sacked from her new teaching position at Cooper Union due to anti-Israel statements on social media.

Shellyne Rodriguez, 47, announced her termination in an email to students obtained by the NYP just after the start of the new semester.

“Cooper Union has fired me because of a social media post I made about ‘Zionists,'” said Rodriguez.

“This is fascism,” she wrote. “Y’all are learning about it in real time.”

Rodriguez doubled down on the claim that she was let go for making “public comments about ‘Zionists'” in an Instagram post.

The Cooper Union faculty page no longer lists Rodriguez as an adjunct professor.

The university's Jewish community was relieved to hear about Rodriguez's termination, referring to her comments as “despicable.”

Jeffrey Lax, a CUNY law professor and co-founder of Students and Faculty for Equality at CUNY, which is a group that advocates for Jewish students discriminated against on campus, told the Post: “Jewish students at Cooper Union are very relieved that they fired her.”

“Her comments were really despicable,” said Lax. “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. They’re not to be commended, they should be ashamed of themselves.”

In January, Rodriguez urged protesting landlords and business people with ties to Israel during a CUNY for Palestine event. The fired professor allegedly said antisemitic tropes during the panel, according to the outlet.

On Instagram, Rodriguez had posted a flier of a pro-Israel event that was edited with cockroaches all over it. She took aim at one of the speakers and had captioned the post “Look at this dirty f*cking roach former bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. a Zionist lapdog.”

A pro-Palestinian group on campus denounced her firing as “an intense escalation of repression” and defended Rodriguez in a letter to the administration. They said Rodriguez was terminated for speaking out against “genocide and settler-colonial violence” which “must be resisted.”

“The Cooper Union wrongfully terminated a valued educator who is indispensable to the community and the academic livelihood of students,” wrote the group, according to the outlet.

Rodriguez first made headlines in May 2023 after a video went viral of her cursing out a pro-life student group at CUNY's Hunter College, where she formerly taught. She went viral once again after Rodriguez was caught on camera holding a machete to the throat of an NYP reporter who went to question her about the incident with the pro-life students. 

Hunter College fired Rodriguez over the incident.