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  1. Israeli consulate to move from downtown to Westmount JASON MAGDER, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago The Israeli consulate is moving from its downtown location to Westmount. According to the consulate's website, the offices will move from the CIBC building on René Levesque Blvd. at the corner of Peel St. to Westmount Square by next Monday. A spokesperson for the consulate says the consulate's 10-year lease in the CIBC building had expired, so the decision was made to change locations. "This is what suited us best in terms of office space and availability and we took what we could take," said Peter Subissati, the consulate's director of public affairs. Daniel Saykaly, a director of Palestinian and Jewish Unity, called the move a victory for his group. He said the consulate has been embarrassed by weekly protests held in front of the CIBC building since Feb. 9, 2001. "We originally started the weekly vigil in the relatively early stages of the second intifada," he said. "We felt it was important to make a regular public statement against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza." The consulate's spokesperson denied the group's claim. "The protests had been going on without any incident and I don't think it ever was a factor in our move," Subissati said. He added the offices of the Spanish and Brazilian consulates are also at Westmount Square. Saykaly said PAJU and supporters haven't missed a week since the first protest, and usually between 20 and 30 people demonstrate in front of the CIBC building on Fridays between noon and 1 p.m., waving flags, chanting slogans and handing out flyers. A counter-protest of Israel supporters has been taking place across the street for the last several years, garnering about the same number of people. Saykaly said his group will now move its weekly protests to Ste. Catherine St. at the corner of McGill College Ave., to join members of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in front of the bookstore Indigo. [email protected]
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