Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Dayton Gunman Retweeted Longtime Former Forward Contributor

The Twitter account believed to belong to the man who killed nine people in a Dayton, Ohio bar frequently retweeted posts supportive of left-wing figures and movements, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, antifa protesters and, on a few occasions, longtime former Forward contributor Eli Valley.

Valley, a cartoonist, has risen in prominence during the Trump administration due to his drawings harshly criticizing the Trump administration, which have frequently gone viral when posted on his Twitter account.

Jewish Journal columnist Ariel Sobel (another former Forward contributor) pointed out that some of the gunman’s 10,000-plus tweets were retweets of Valley or of other accounts promoting his work.

Valley rejected the implication that he was in any way responsible for the shooting.

The gunman reportedly had a longstanding interest in violence, with high school classmates claiming that he had a “hit list” of people he wanted to rape or murder. His ex-girlfriend has claimed that he showed her footage of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on their first date earlier this year. The suspect was “very specifically seeking out information that promotes violence,” FBI special agent in charge Todd Wickerham told CNN on Tuesday.

Sobel and Valley have been feuding on Twitter for months over differences of opinion on Israel, left-wing politics and Valley’s use of exaggerated physical features and Holocaust imagery to criticize the Trump administration, especially its Jewish members and supporters, for what he sees as their embrace of white nationalism. Valley was even accused of anti-Semitism by Meghan McCain (who is not Jewish) after he drew a caricature mocking her.

But things escalated in May after Sobel accused him of being a misogynist who “abet[s] anti-Semitism” and sends followers to attack his critics. Valley responded by saying the harassment of her was “inexcusable and obscene” but adding that the argument he was abetting anti-Semitism was “grotesque.”

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor of the Forward. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @aidenpink

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.