‘Simply indefensible.’ Rep. Barr responds on the Israel-Hamas conflict. | Opinion

Responding on Israel

I don’t usually engage in back-and-forth debates, but the current rise in antisemitism demands a response to Todd Kelly’s Opinion piece on 12/5/2023. ‘Evil prevails when good people do nothing.’ I won’t remain silent.

In his letter, Mr. Kelly employs several antisemitic tropes:

His use of the phrase “Sounds like someone who needs an AIPAC check” or, it’s all about the Benjamins, is an egregious excuse to perpetuate the stereotype of Jewish influence on American politics and is deeply offensive.

He glosses over the fact that it was Hamas that broke the ceasefire and attacked Israel. Hamas is globally recognized as a terrorist organization, and we cannot mainstream terrorists into polite conversation as if they are a legitimate political faction.

The claim that Israel is an occupier, with statements like “Israel divides Palestine from Haifa to Egypt,” disregards Israel’s internationally recognized sovereignty since 1948.

Suggesting that Israel’s actions are the reason for Hamas’ aggression is a gross misinterpretation of the conflict and its underlying causes. “The arrows that Hamas fires into Israel prove the resource starvation that Israel imposes.” Is he really saying if Israel provided more aid to Gaza, then Hamas would have better weapons to attack?

Hamas’ actions, marked by violence and terror, pose a significant threat to peace and security in the region. The complete dismantling of Hamas is necessary to protect innocent lives and to pave the way for lasting peace. This is not just about retaliatory measures; it’s about taking decisive action against a cancer that – if not confronted and destroyed – will metastasize and undermine safety and stability in the region. It is one thing to draw different opinions from historical events or espouse competing territorial claims within the region — but embracing evil, spouting antisemitic hate, and excusing genocide is simply indefensible.

Andy Barr has represented Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives since 2013 and serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Financial Services Committee, and the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.

Health Department

I disagree with Fayette County Public Schools’ discussion on ending their contract with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and their nurses. I cannot imagine how the new vendor, Maxim, could provide the same level of services currently provided through the Health Department.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and their nurses have worked long and hard to develop relationships with the staff, students, and families of Fayette County Public Schools. They have developed a level of trust with staff and families that cannot be replaced. I worked as a Speech Pathologist for FCPS for 27 years and routinely relied on school nurses to assist with the complex needs of students. They helped students get the care they needed so that they could attend school and be ready to learn. We are not just talking about students with a stomachache. There are many students with complex health conditions which need ongoing management such as diabetes, heart conditions, chronic asthma, and students with special needs.

Fayette County Public Schools spends a lot of money in many areas. Health care for students is not the place to cut corners.

Rosemary Rymond, Lexington

Journalism support

I am writing in response to the November 30, 2023, article written by Mr. Green titled: ”Why we need your support to expand our coverage of local journalism.”

I found this paywall-less article on’s Facebook page. The article was linked with the caption: “In this season of giving, Herald-Leader editor asks for your financial support to expand our staff, local coverage across Kentucky.”

As a non-profit professional, I was shocked that this article was something that Mr. Green decided to publish in a for-profit newspaper.

It is not the responsibility of potential (or current) readers to fund the salaries of new positions at the newspaper. It is the responsibility of a business to generate revenue so as to adequately staff and compensate employees.

The Facebook post leads off with “in this season of giving…” This comes on the heels of the Good Giving Challenge where numerous non-profit organizations come together to encourage year-end donations. I am not opposed to the idea of newspapers needing more journalists to produce a better product. But, to ask for donations to fund the salaries for new positions at a for-profit business “in this season of giving” is tone-deaf.

Meredith Plant, Frankfort

Journalism loss

A recent letter takes to task this newspaper for an alleged misleading headline/report about reception to Trump’s appearance at a football game.

My reaction: two (or more) things can be true at once, but the writer’s last sentence stuck: “Let’s hope media crumbles before America does.”

If in the same issue the writer read the editor’s column about the diminishing number of local newspapers, she must have been gratified to know it’s happening, has been for years.

This “crumbling” horrifies many of us who know that the fewer mainstream media channels the public and voters have, especially archival print, the less likely we are to be an informed citizenry necessary to the survival of democracy the writer points to.

While the letter talks about the “outright lies” of “supposed gatekeepers of information,” it makes no mention of the documented continual lies of former President Donald Trump or Fox News serving as the GOP propaganda channel.

“Media” are plural as the writer picks on a singular medium’s singular headline: methinks its purpose might be a “glittering generality,” and a dangerous one at that. Was the letter intended to paint broader negative attention to “media”? “Let’s hope”… not.

Ramona Rush, Lexington

Cameron candidacy

Most Kentuckians are grateful to Daniel Cameron for demonstrating that an African American candidate can win a statewide race in our commonwealth. That’s my personal impression.

The conventional political wisdom was that Cameron could easily have won re-election as attorney general this year. As we know, he decided to run for governor instead. That was a more challenging move to be sure. Did racial bias defeat him in this race? I think not.

Consider first that Cameron’s opponent, Gov. Andy Beshear, is the most talented Democratic candidate we’ve seen in Kentucky in recent years. Consider also that Beshear seems to have touched deep Democratic Party roots in Kentucky going back a century and a half at least.

Beshear’s eventual win might have been a cathartic experience for Kentucky voters who hadn’t voted for a Democratic candidate in 10 to 12 years. I think Cameron’s biggest mistake was to underestimate Beshear’s ingenuity.

All this is not to say that we are free of racial bias, but I think we can say that Cameron’s campaigns opened doors for African American candidates; albeit those inclined to political conservatism. Now, let’s open more.

Tom Louderback, Louisville

Santos expelled

Now that the Republicans have expelled the corrupt U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) from Congress, I wonder how long it will be before the Democrats expel the corrupt U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) from the Senate? Being the party of corruption, I’m betting they won’t!

William Riffe, Lancaster


I want a law passed in the State of Kentucky that all Judges have to notify all parent(s) and children at the time of a guardianship and/or conservatorship.

My brother received guardianship over my father. He didn’t notify all 7 children and is not honoring my father’s wishes. I just learned about this matter and the judge will not change his decision.

Kathy Lynn Hunley, Davenport, Iowa

Holiday toys

The holiday season can be an especially difficult time for children who are battling cancer. Many of these young patients spend time in the hospital away from home and those they love.

During my battle with cancer, I was surrounded by faithful family and friends that supported and uplifted me. Inspired by these patients and families, I created a non-profit foundation to help with travel, lodging, food and other needs. Last holiday season, we were excited to launch an online toy drive to benefit patients at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Thanks to our community’s generosity and with the help of Facebook, we delivered more than 100 toys to some very special kids raising over $700.

To donate, you can simply find the Dalton Workman Foundation on Facebook or Instagram – and follow the link there to purchase toys between now and December 15.

Together, we can help brighten the spirits of kids across Kentucky who could really use some holiday cheer. If you are able, we invite you to join us in our mission to bless struggling families. To learn more about our foundation, please visit:

Dalton Workman, Frankfort