a taylor swift stan went to prison for refusing to join the israeli army

Apparently, being a Swiftie means you now also stand against the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

by Alim Kheraj
03 April 2019, 11:46am

Image via Youtube. 

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

First Taylor Swift came out as a democrat after years of political silence and now her fans are literally going to prison for standing up for their political beliefs. It’s been a wild ride. One Israeli-born fan who runs the Twitter fan account LegitTayUpdates has galvanised their fellow Swifities after tweeting that they had just gotten out of prison for refusing to enlist in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

In Israel, military service is mandatory for nearly all citizens aged over 18. As Huck Magazine reported, those who refuse to enlist can face prison time, with conscientious objectors having to lay their reasoning for refusal out in front of a panel of military officials. According to LegitTayUpdates, they refused military service because of their stance on Israel’s occupation of Palestine and refused to enlist and fight for the Israeli Defence Force, which resulted in their imprisonment. They also noted that they were imprisoned as they failed to prove they were a pacifist due to the fact that they said that would “punch a Nazi”.

Thanks to some digging by Mashable, it seems that, while incarcerated, this Swift fan, who the site identified as Na'ama, spent their time in prison writing notes, which they then passed on to friends who tweeted them from their account. From the notes, it looks like a love of pop music by Carly Rae Jepsen, being a “bisexual communist” and stanning Taylor Swift were on their mind. They even managed to address rumours that Taylor was pregnant from behind bars.

However, things really came to a head when, after two months, Na'ama tweeted that they had been released from prison and explained again why they had been incarcerated. Their tweets went viral.

Upon learning that their story was being shared, Na'ama decided to use their recently elevated platform to encourage people to donate to the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund.

Indeed, in a message sent to The Jerusalem Post , Na’ama said that they wanted the focus to be on Palestine. “I've just been trying to make sure the focus is on Palestine and helping them,” they wrote, “as well as spreading info while still protecting my own identity.”

Of course, while this story is incredible and brimming with lolz, Na'ama’s story is one that is a reality for many Israeli citizens who subscribe to the notion of an emancipated Palestine. It also comes at a time when a popstar’s decision to play in Israel is heavily debated. Last year, Lorde cancelled a show in Tel-Aviv following backlash regarding Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Likewise, Lana Del Rey pulled out of an appearance at an Israeli festival following backlash, citing her inability to perform for both Israeli and Palestinian fans as her reason for cancelling. Taylor herself has not performed in Israel over the course of her career.

Given that only a few years ago Taylor Swift had been co-opted by the alt-right and fascists as their “Ayran goddess”, it’s quite the 180 that she could now become a symbol of Palestinian freedom. Tayliberal Swift lives and breathes.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

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