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New website promotes human rights in Middle East

    A group of British Jews opposed to Israel's occupation of the West Bank is setting up a new website to provide information on human rights issues involving Israelis and Palestinians.

    JNews, due to go live next Monday, will be directed by Miri Weingarten, who played a prominent role for 11 years in Physician for Human Rights-Israel and moved to London last year.

    Its trustees include Lady Dahrendorf, a steering group member of Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), set up to promote alternative views on Israel; Antony Lerman, former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research; and Richard Kuper, former chair of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

    Patrons include former Board of Deputies member June Jacobs and two senior Liberal rabbis, Danny Rich and Alexandra Wright. JNews is being funded by a grant from the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust. "We are applying to others in the Jewish community for support for the longer run," Ms Weingarten said.

    ● The Palestinian human rights group Al Haq has lost in the UK courts over its attempt to have British policy towards Israel ruled illegal.

    Lawyers for Al Haq had wanted judges to declare that Britain was in violation of its human rights obligations by failing to take action against Israel over settlement building and its incursion into Gaza last year.

    But the Court of Appeal last Thursday refused the group leave to appeal against an earlier decision rejecting its application for a judicial review.

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