February 6, 2024

NYC Machete Professor Fired Over Anti-Israel Comments

Shellyne Rodriguez, infamous for holding a blade to a Post reporter's neck in May, has been dismissed from her recent teaching position at Cooper Union due to her anti-Israel rhetoric, according to sources familiar with the matter.

In an email to students on January 23, Rodriguez, 47, claimed she was terminated for comments made on social media about "Zionists."

The email, subsequently shared on Instagram by Cooper Union Students for Justice in Palestine, sparked controversy as Rodriguez labeled her dismissal as "fascism" and urged students to view it as a real-time lesson.

While the college declined to comment on personnel issues, Rodriguez is no longer listed as an adjunct faculty member on Cooper Union’s website.

The specific posts or comments that led to her termination remain undisclosed.

However, her involvement in a CUNY for Palestine panel in January, where she allegedly endorsed protesting individuals with ties to Israel, drew criticism for allegedly perpetuating anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Screenshots obtained by The Post showed Rodriguez posting an edited flyer for a pro-Israel event on Instagram, accompanied by derogatory language targeting one of the participants, former Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr.

Rodriguez's dismissal prompted a response from the pro-Palestinian student group, condemning it as an "escalation of repression" and advocating for her reinstatement.

Conversely, Jeffrey Lax, a CUNY law professor, expressed relief on behalf of Jewish students at Cooper Union, denouncing Rodriguez's remarks and actions.

The firing comes after a string of controversial incidents involving Rodriguez, including a confrontation with pro-life students at CUNY's Hunter College in May 2023, resulting in her termination from Hunter and the School of Visual Arts.

In response to the attack on the reporter, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to harassment and menacing, with conditions including participation in a therapy program.

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