BDS accuses Israel of ‘repression’

BDS movement blasts Israel after its leader was arrested over alleged tax fraud.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Pro-BDS display
Pro-BDS display
Flash 90

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement on Wednesday accused Israel of "repression" after its leader was arrested over alleged tax fraud.

Qatari-born Omar Barghouti, founder of both the BDS movement and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion he committed tax evasion over the past decade, concealing $700,000 in earned income from tax authorities.

During a raid of Barghouti’s house, police say they found credit cards and purchase records confirming the allegations against him. After being taken into custody, he was transferred to Haifa for interrogation before being released on bail.

Barghouti was raised in Egypt but received permanent residency status after he married an Israeli Arab woman. He currently resides in the northern Israeli town of Acre (Akko) and studied at Tel Aviv University, despite his own calls to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

A BDS statement on Wednesday denounced his arrest and claimed it was part of a wider campaign against Barghouti.

"After the effective travel ban imposed on him proved futile in stopping his human rights work, the Israeli government has resorted to fabricating a case related to Omar's alleged income outside of Israel," it said, according to AFP.

"No matter what extreme measures of repression Israel wields... it cannot stop this movement for human rights," the statement declared.

Barghouti has openly advocated for the destruction of the Israel as a Jewish state and the end of Zionism. Barghouti rejects the two-state solution, and has compared Israel to both Apartheid-ridden South Africa and Nazi Germany.