Singer Taylor Swift receives the Tour of the Year award during the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 14, 2019. .
(photo credit: REUTERS/MARIO ANZUONI)
A Twitter fan account for the singer Taylor Swift went viral after it was revealed that it was purportedly run by an Israeli woman who served time in prison for refusing to join the IDF.
The young woman, who identified herself only as Na’ama, had been running a Twitter account for more than a year devoted to Swift. For the past two months it went silent, until Tuesday when the account sprung back to life.
“As most of you know, I haven’t been very active in the past couple of months because I was in prison :/ I’m back now though :) more Taylor Swift updates coming soon!” the account @LegitTayUpdates posted on Tuesday. A fan replied: “omg why,” to which Na’ama responded: “I refused to join the IDF lmao,” using the internet slang abbreviation for “laughing my ass off.”
That interaction quickly went viral, with the original tweet as well as screenshots of the exchange gaining tens of thousands of likes and retweets.
In a direct message exchange with The Jerusalem Post
, Na’ama said the reaction since she was released from military prison on Tuesday has been overwhelming.
“Once a screenshot of my tweet went viral, everything just sort of exploded,” she wrote. “People have reached out for more info, (former) friends of mine have blocked me and berated me for using my time as a “tool for attention”, people have offered my jobs, money, drinks, tours in their country, marriage... I’ve just been trying to make sure the focus is on Palestine and helping them, as well as spreading info while still protecting my own identity.”
Na’ama, who was born in Israel to an Anglo parent, said she would not disclose her last name for fear it would anger the IDF, or lead to her being rearrested. She also said her family was ashamed of her actions, and don’t want people to know. Na’ama told the Post she has not officially received her discharge papers, but is slated to soon. The Jerusalem Post could not independently verify her story.
“This story is kind of blowing up, and I don’t want it to have negative consequences on my friends or family or community,” she said.
During the two months that Na’ama was purportedly in prison, a friend, Noya, posted regular updates from visiting days, including photographs of Na’ama’s handwritten notes while behind bars.
On both her private and personal Twitter accounts after her release, Na’ama elaborated on her political views, the reason she went to prison and her plans for the future.
“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!” she wrote from the Taylor Swift fan account, which gained several thousand followers in just 24 hours.
On her personal account, she joked about her time in prison and her family’s reaction.
“Everyone’s congratulating me on going to prison man I can’t WAIT till my parents hear about this,” she tweeted. “Ya girl’s famous for being a pro-Palestine disgrace to her family, wow what a legacy!”
She also explained why she didn’t seek or receive an exemption from her army service: “I didn’t get a moral waver [sic] because they proved I wasn’t a true pacifist (I told them I’d punch a Nazi),” she wrote. “And you can’t choose to do National Service for no reason, you have to get a waver [sic]. I wasn’t gonna get married or turn Orthodox to get a waver [sic], so I did the time. As is the (f***ed up) law.”
Na’ama also wrote that after voting in next week’s election for “whatever pro-Palestine party I feel like!” she intends to move to New York, stay with relatives and work in the film industry.
So far, Taylor Swift herself has yet to weigh in.
“I don’t expect it,” Na’ama told the Post. “I didn’t do or say any of this for a prize or a reward... I really don’t think me being a Taylor stan has anything to do with this.”
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