A New York City professor who was caught on camera holding a machete to a journalist’s neck has been fired for anti-Israel rants. Shellyne Rodriguez, 47, wrote in an email: “Cooper Union has fired me because of a social media post I made about ‘Zionists.'”
His January 23 email was shared the next day on Instagram by Cooper Union Students for Justice in Palestine.
“This is fascism,” he wrote. “You are all learning about this in real time.”
In her Instagram post, Rodriguez said she was fired for “public comments about ‘Zionists’.”
A university spokeswoman told New York Post who does not comment on personnel matters, but Rodriguez is no longer listed as an adjunct on Cooper Union’s faculty page.
However, it is unclear what posts or comments led to his dismissal.
Notably, Rodriguez participated in a CUNY panel for Palestine where critics claimed she made anti-Semitic comments. She also posted a flyer on Instagram promoting a pro-Israel event, edited to make it look like it was covered in cockroaches.
The former president of the Bronx borough, Rubén Díaz Jr, was one of the participants of the event. “Look at this dirty cockroach, former Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., a Zionist lapdog,” Rodríguez wrote in the caption.
The pro-Palestinian student group condemned the professor’s dismissal as “an intense escalation of repression” that “must be resisted.” “Cooper Union unfairly terminated a valued educator who is indispensable to the community and the academic livelihood of students,” the group wrote in a letter to the administration, according to the New York Post.
However, a section of people were happy with the news of his dismissal and said it was much needed.
“Jewish students at Cooper Union are very relieved that she was fired,” said Jeffrey Lax, a CUNY law professor and co-founder of Students and Faculty for Equality at CUNY. “His comments about her were despicable.”
“Normally, I would say that I congratulate the university for taking action against this professor, but in this case, how can I say that? She did something much worse before she was hired. I mean, she put a knife to a journalist’s neck “Lax said. “They are not worthy of praise, they should be ashamed of themselves.”
In May of last year, Rodriguez, who was then serving as an adjunct professor at Hunter College, was recorded using profanity while expressing displeasure toward students who had organized a pro-life table. He claimed his actions were causing distress to others and stated: “You’re not educating anything. This is propaganda. What’s next, anti-trans initiatives?” Video capturing the incident was shared online by Students for Life of America.
When a New York Post journalist arrived at his apartment to comment, she was seen holding a knife to the journalist’s neck.
He pleaded guilty to harassment and threats in connection with the attack on the journalist, the Post reported, citing the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
Rodriguez was sentenced in October to 13 months of behavioral therapy for threats.