A pandemic ended, gas prices hit new highs, and the stock market tumbled down. The year 2022 was full of surprises and pitfalls. While most year-in-review articles will talk about Ukraine, Roe v. Wade, and Donald Trump, here is a list of some of the more underreported stories of 2022.
January 15: Hostages are taken at a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas
Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, becomes the site of a hostage-taking when a 44-year-old British Pakistani man entered with a pistol. Taking four people hostage, the terrorist demands the release of Aafia Siddiqui, also known as “Lady al-Qaeda.” After an 11-hour standoff, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team enters and kills the suspect. All the hostages are safely released.
January 30: New York Democrats enact gerrymandered redistricting map
The first maps to be enacted by the Democrats in Albany are approved at the end of January, and they were so egregiously bad that they all eventually got thrown out. Three district lines are drawn: State Assembly, State Senate, and US House of Representatives. After a massive population loss in the 2010s, New York lost a Congressional seat, so the lines were redrawn in a way to help Democrats substantially. Democrats reduced the number of lean Republican and toss-up districts and turned them into lean Democratic districts. Jewish representation in the Five Towns, Brooklyn, and Monsey were split up and wiped out. The maps were so bad that even The New York Times had the headline “How NY Democrats Are Leading a ‘Master Class’ In Gerrymandering.”
Subsequent lawsuits get the maps tossed, but the process through the Primary voting calendar is in disarray. Instead of one primary election, there are two, one for statewide office and the other for district office. The Assembly seats are thrown out too late for 2022, so they are being redrawn again for new districts in 2024.
February 17: Baby formula is recalled
In February, The US Food and Drug Administration claims that unsanitary conditions at a formula-making plant in Sturgis, Michigan, led to four babies getting sick. A recall is issued by Abbott Laboratories on three types of baby formula, which leads to months of baby formula shortages around the nation. At one point, a third of all baby formula is out of stock nationwide.
March 2: New York fights for the right to force masking
At the end of February, the CDC and New York State change the masking requirements to no longer mandate masks in private businesses and schools. Despite this, on March 2, Attorney General Letitia James appeals a ruling by New York State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Rademaker that prevented the state from future mandates, as they were unlawful. James, along with Governor Kathy Hochul, continue to fight for the ability for the executive branch to override the legislature and issue mandates when they deemed it necessary.
March-April: The country reacts to Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education Bill”
What should have been a small local story about a piece of local legislation became a rallying cry for the woke left. The “Parental Rights in Education Bill” in Florida includes a provision that said that explicit material could not be discussed in classrooms for Kindergarten through third grade. The Left dubs this the “don’t say gay” bill, which the media immediately adopted. This leads to political figures like Mayor Eric Adams and California Governor Gavin Newsom putting up billboards and cutting commercials in Florida denouncing the legislation and begging people to come back to their states. Radical organizations like “Together Rising” denounce the legislation with the phrase “there’s no such thing as other people’s children.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fights back against media and Democratic attacks on the bill, much to the surprise of nationwide conservatives who are used to Republicans backing down from a fight. When Disney vows to help repeal the legislation, DeSantis takes the fight to them, working with the legislature to revoke Disney’s special tax loopholes. At the same time, internal Disney videos are released by investigative journalist Chris Rufo, showcasing the company’s leftward shift in their content. The public and political pressure force Disney to back down from their threats.
April 5: Elon Musk becomes Twitter’s largest shareholder
The odyssey that became Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter began all the way back in early April, with Musk becoming the largest single shareholder of Twitter stock. The months-long “will they/won’t they” between Musk and Twitter begins with Twitter offering Musk a board seat; then he makes the initial purchase offer. Musk eventually does buy Twitter for $44 billion, and he has been making radical changes ever since.
April 30: The Harvard Crimson endorses BDS
In late April, the Harvard student newspaper, The Crimson, runs an op-ed from its Editorial Board saying that they are “proud to finally lend our support to both Palestinian liberation and BDS – and we call on everyone to do the same.” This comes after a two-decade-old anti-BDS policy that a previous Editorial Board wrote about in 2002. In the op-ed, the Editorial Board’s reasoning could be pulled from Yasser Arafat’s dream journal. Mahmoud Abbas himself could not write a more narrow, one-sided view of the conflict. The Crimson faces months of backlash from Jewish groups and alumni alike for their op-ed.
May 13: CUNY Law picks virulent anti-Semite as its commencement speaker
CUNY Law continues its storied tradition of blatant anti-Semitism when the students selected Nerdeen Mohsen Kiswani to give the commencement address. She grabs the opportunity, and the microphone, to espouse hatred of America, Israel, and the Jewish people. Nerdeen Mohsen Kiswani is the founder and a leader of Within Our Lifetime, an outfit dedicated to the complete eradication of Israel. The group’s been banned from Instagram for hate speech; StopAntisemitism.org named Kiswani its Anti-Semite of the Year for 2020.
Within Our Lifetime boasts messages like “Resistance and Return by Any Means Necessary.” They have statements commemorating the Second Intifada from 2000-2005, claiming that it “launched a new chapter of Palestinian resistance to Zionist settler colonialism” and lamenting that “at least 5,000 Palestinians were martyred.” Kiswani was on video in 2020 attempting to set fire to a black student for the great crime of wearing an IDF sweatshirt. At rallies, Kiswani is known to say such things as, “There is only one solution: Intifada revolution,” and, “I hope that a pop-pop is the last noise that some Zionists hear in their lifetime.”
May 16: Rashida Tlaib introduces Nakba legislation
Rashida Tlaib introduces a resolution “Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian refugees’ rights.” While the resolution ultimately goes nowhere in Congress, it gives key insight into how the anti-Israel left is trying to rewrite history with official acts like they did in the United Nations. Two members of the New York delegation, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, co-sponsor the resolution.
June 8: Man arrested for alleged assassination of SCOTUS Justice Brett Kavanaugh
After the leak of the Dobbs decision that would eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, weeks of protests outside of Justices’ homes occur, encouraged by the Biden White House. “So, I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date, and we certainly continue to encourage that outside of judges’ homes and that’s the president’s position,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a press briefing. Well, at least one person had more than peaceful protest in mind. Nicholas Roske was arrested outside of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home and charged with attempted murder. Authorities found a handgun with two magazines and ammunition, a tactical knife, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, a screwdriver, and other gear in his backpack.
July 7: Boris Johnson announces his resignation
In July, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces his resignation after a myriad of scandals related to his behavior during COVID lockdowns. This began a series of tumultuous political events in Great Britain, with the short-lived tenure of Liz Truss, the nation’s shortest serving Prime Minister, and the elevation of Rishi Sunak, the first non-white Prime Minister in British history.
July 31: Drone Strike Kills al-Qaeda Leader
A US drone strike in Afghanistan kills Ayman al-Zawahiri, a strategist behind the 9/11 attacks. While the strike was widely reported, what went under-reported was the fact that this terrorist was being harbored by the Taliban, who was given control of the country less than a year earlier by President Joe Biden and his disastrous pullout from Afghanistan. While the Biden administration actually used this to show that they could still effectively kill terrorists without a troop presence in Afghanistan, skeptics question how many more terrorists are being given safe haven by the Taliban now that they have regained control of the country.
August 1: Kathy Hochul is accused of engaging in pay-to-play
Governor Kathy Hochul was in hot water over her decision to use emergency authority to grant a contract for COVID tests to a political donor. The tests cost over twice the market rate for tests, at around $12 each. The contract was worth $637 million worth of taxpayer funds.
This story got little local attention and no national attention, as Hochul was in an election race with Congressman Lee Zeldin. This was, however, a key factor in Zeldin closing the gap in polling in those final months of the race.
August 21: Minneapolis teachers contract is scrutinized
A teachers’ union contract in Minneapolis ignites a firestorm when it is discovered that layoffs are race-based. There is a contract provision stating that in the event of layoffs in the school district, black teachers (or teachers of color) have higher priority than white teachers. Of course, they use flowery language to describe what is essentially a morally bankrupt policy. “If excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the District shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population.” As the president of the teachers’ union, Greta Callahan called it, “just one teensy, tiny step towards equity.”
August 24: Biden Student Loan Forgiveness is announced
This cannot be an under-reported story, as it makes headlines for months. The under-reported aspect of this story was the sheer size of it. By estimations, forgiving student loan debts would cost between $350 billion and $500 billion, making it the most expensive Executive Order in American history. While this is being bounced around in courts, the Biden administration is still pushing for it to be passed. If it does pass, the economic repercussions would be catastrophic.
September 5: Biden declares war on ‘MAGA Republicans’
Outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia, awash in blood-red lighting and flanked by Marine guards, Joe Biden gives the most divisive speech in modern American History. He creates a boogeyman called “MAGA Republicans,” and proceeds to define the term so broadly that it could encompass every person who ever thought about voting for Donald Trump or any other Republican. The speech is so controversial and optically bad that the media shoved it down the memory hole as quickly as they could.
September 16: Yeshiva University disbands all student clubs
After a years-long legal battle with an LGBTQ student club, Yeshiva University is ordered to allow the club to form, as the Supreme Court would not extend a stay until the court rules. In response, instead of allowing the club to form, YU disbands all student clubs. YU’s legal team knows that once the club forms, any court will view it as a precedent, and use the club’s very existence as evidence that the club can remain in existence. They do the only logical thing: They put a pause on all student club activities until a court decision has been reached. In an attempt to assuage the YU Pride Alliance Club, YU creates a new university-approved club, the Kol Yisrael Areivim Club, which is aimed to provide a space for LGBTQ students at the Jewish university to support one another “within the Torah framework,” in October.
October 6: Biden pardons marijuana users
Biden issues a blanket pardon for all federal inmates that were incarcerated over “simple marijuana possession,” and urged governors to do the same. While this made a lot of headlines, few follow-ups were done, as most people in jail for drug-related crimes are not there for simple possession, but for trafficking or in a combination with other, more severe, crimes.
November 3: Bibi takes over the Knesset…again
After a brief experiment with a unity government that was only united in its opposition to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israelis return to the polls for the fifth time in three years and gave the premiership back to Bibi. With a commanding 64-seat majority, this is the most stable government Bibi has had to work with in years. The coverage is, of course, all about how radical-right-wing the new government is going to be, yet the population of Israel is looking for stronger leadership in the midst of an increase in terrorist action coming from Judea and Samaria.
November 8: The Red Flop takes place
After months of speculating that Republicans would decisively take over the House and Senate, the people have spoken, and they say no. The party in power has the best showing of any party in the last century during a midterm election, not losing one seat in the Senate and keeping the House as slim a majority as possible. Republicans have been at each other’s throats since the results to find out what went wrong and how to fix it before 2024.
The only bright spots were Florida, where Ron DeSantis shellacks challenger Charlie Crist, and New York, where Republicans flip four House seats and Lee Zeldin sends a message to the state that a solid Republican challenger at the top of the ticket could have major positives down-ballot.
December 8: Congress passes Respect For Marriage Act…without amendments
The inappropriately named “Respect For Marriage Act” receives all the media attention that could possibly be mustered, but what went largely unnoticed was the amendment to the act proposed by Senator Mike Lee that would protect religious observers. The issue at hand is that private people could be forced by the government to violate their own religious beliefs, when asked to, for example, bake a cake for a gay wedding. While the bill makes clear that institutions, organizations, or employees of organizations are protected from performing services for gay marriage, it does not protect individuals outside of said organizations and institutions. Currently, that issue is being argued in front of the Supreme Court.