Taylor Swift’s Israeli mega-fan turns to Twitter to shed light on Israeli-Palestinian conflict
A Twitter account called Taylor Swift Updates stands out among other typical fan pages. Run by a 19-year-old Israeli woman, who goes by the name Na’ama, it unsurprisingly features plenty of tweets, news updates and posts dedicated to her beloved American singer.
But it went viral this year because of one particular thing – her overwhelming support for Palestine and her fierce opposition towards mandatory military service.
So far, her 20,000-strong readership pales in comparison to that of Taylor Swift who has over 83 million followers on Twitter and around 115 million on Instagram. But Na’ama says she wants to use her emerging Twitter fame to raise awareness about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I'm also aware I just received the awesome opportunity to educate, so if any pro-Palestine [journalists] see this, reply below and I'll try and get back to you!” she tweeted.
💬| I feel really weird doing interviews about this because it didn't seem like a big deal to me, but I'm also aware I just received the awesome opportunity to educate, so if any pro-Palestine jornos see this, reply below and I'll try and get back to you!— Taylor Swift Updates (@LegitTayUpdates) April 2, 2019
In February, she told her followers that she will go offline because she is poised to serve a prison sentence in Israel. In another tweet, the woman confessed she didn't know how long she would be in jail. “Some people do 10 days, other well over a year,” she said. “I'll have a pretty short notice of when I'm getting released.”
💬| So I think most of you know (?) but I'm going to prison tomorrow for refusing to enlist to the military, which I know sounds kinda funny, but it also means I'll be gone for a while (not sure how long).So uhhh no more me pissing you guys off for a while. What a relief, huh?— Taylor Swift Updates (@LegitTayUpdates) February 1, 2019
💬| Completely serious, it's a fairly common thing where I live tbh everyone knows someone who went to prison for not enlisting— Taylor Swift Updates (@LegitTayUpdates) February 1, 2019
A few weeks later, the account shared a handwritten update from prison. At the time, debunking rumors about Taylor Swift’s pregnancy seemed to occupy Na’ama’s mind, even behind bars.
Tweeting activity resumed in early April, when she wrote: “As most of you know, I haven't been very active in the past couple of months because I was in prison.”
💬| Oh wig what a nice surprise!Anyway: free Palestine, throw Netanyahu in prison, and donate to the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund, who actually are confirmed to use at least 86% of their donations on the programs and services they deliver! Link: https://t.co/4BoHKbSJDuhttps://t.co/ejbOIZL5bz— Taylor Swift Updates (@LegitTayUpdates) April 2, 2019
In Israel, military service is compulsory for both men and women over the age of 18. There are a few exemptions for mandatory service, such as marriage, pregnancy, as well as religious reasons or pacifism – but objectors must defend their views in front of a military panel.Also on rt.com ‘I like her music 25% less now’: Trump on Taylor Swift backing Democrats
Sometimes, those who dodge the draft – called ‘refuseniks’ in Israel – do so out of opposition to Israel's occupation of Palestine, which is apparently the case in Na’ama's story.
Meanwhile, in her latest tweet she urged followers to raise funds for Palestinian children, while at the same time bickering with true Israeli patriots who she slammed for their ignorance.
💬| You know, I've sat in a shelter countless times as missiles were flying above, I can appreciate protection. But that doesn't mean I'll stand for aggression against Palestinian civilians.Anyway.... Donate to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund: https://t.co/dopSshoZv8https://t.co/KXZpcoIlEy— Taylor Swift Updates (@LegitTayUpdates) April 4, 2019
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