• The United Nations Security Council has decided to terminate its observer mission in Syria as peace-keeping efforts are paralyzed. [NYT]

• Despite sustained calls in South Africa to avoid visiting Israel, King Goodwill Zwelithini of Zulu has accepted an invitation to visit Israel early next year. [Forward]

• The United Church of Canada–the largest Protestant denomination in Canada–approved a boycott on Israeli settlements. [JTA]

• Shimon Peres celebrated his 89th birthday at a ceremony in Yeruham. Asked what his wish was, he said peace. [Times of Israel]

• David Meir Grossman has a stellar essay on why he gave up religion, but still keeps kosher. [Jewcy]