The Scroll will be dark on Monday in observance of Christmas (hey, it’s a federal holiday!); it and Tablet Magazine will publish lightly next week.
• Without renouncing violence, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal pledged mass nonviolent protests against Israel. [AP/WP]
• As explosions rocked Damascus, the United States insisted that an Arab League plan to restore peace (and, potentially, enact regime change) be permitted to follow through. [Haaretz]
• President Abbas met with several former prisoners freed as part of the Gilad Shalit swap, including one responsible for the murder of an Israeli teenager. [AP/WP]
• Josh Block, the former AIPAC spokesperson involved in a controversy over liberal bloggers’ remarks and charges of anti-Semitism, was released by Rachel Kleinfeld’s Truman National Security Project, where he had been a fellow. [Salon]
• The amazing story of a multi-year film shoot—for a biopic about the Soviet Jewish physicist Lev Landau—that has basically become its own totalitarian state trapped in 1952, complete with a megalomaniacal director who is referred to as “Boss.” You’re asking if the director is Jewish? You need to ask if the director is Jewish? [GQ]
• A company uses baby foreskins to try to grow human skin. You’re asking if the company is German? You need to ask if the company is German? [Huff Post]
• A bittersweet visit to several former strongholds of Jewish life in both Poland and Spain finds the author mourning what was lost. [NYRB]
• Contributing editor Rachel Shukert remembers celebrating Hanukkah as one of the few Jews in Omaha, Nebraska. [VF]
Have happy fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh nights of Hanukkah!
Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.