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I’m sorry, the old Taylor stan account can’t come to the phone right now.
Oh, ’cause she’s been imprisoned for conscientious objection.
Popular account @LegitTayUpdates run by a woman only as “Na’ama,” surprised followers in February when she announced a hiatus from Twitter due to a minor complication: time behind bars for reportedly refusing to enlist in Israel’s mandatory military service.
After a two-month sentence, Na’ama returned to Twitter on Tuesday. “As many of you know, I haven’t been very active in the past couple of months because I was in prison :/,” she wrote. “I’m back now though 🙂 more Taylor Swift updates coming soon!”
When a follower questioned why Israeli-born Na’ama had been imprisoned, she oh-so-casually dropped the bombshell: She supports Palestinian freedom and reportedly refused to comply with Israel’s mandatory military service, subsequently resulting in prison time. She even lmao’d about it.
“I refused to join the IDF lmao,” Na’ama explained.
IDF stands for Israel Defense Forces. According to The New York Times, in Israel most 18-year-olds are drafted for “compulsory service,” and perform “reserve duty for decades after.” The military’s code of ethics state that the army’s mission is to protect Israel, while being “subordinate to the directions of the democratic civilian authorities and the laws of the state.”
Those who refuse to enlist (sometimes as a statement against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories) are handed prison sentences. Mashable reports that people who dodge the draft are imprisoned for various lengths of time and “those who claim to be conscientious objectors must defend their principles in front of a panel of military officers.”
There are exemptions, of course, but Na’ama tweeted that she didn’t get a waiver, because “I wasn’t a true pacifist (I told them I’d punch a Nazi). Israel is already under terrible leadership & I want Palestine to get the help it needs to establish itself as a strong democracy.”
In a message to The Jerusalem Post, Na’ama says everything has “just sort of exploded” since she announced her return from prison.
“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,” she told the outlet. “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, would not disclose her last name to the Post in fear of being rearrested. She also said her family was ashamed of her actions, and doesn’t want people to know. She has not officially received her discharge papers, but is slated to soon. Na’ama didn’t respond to ELLE.com’s requests for comment.
Despite shoddy Internet service, Na’ama was able to update fellow Swifties on all things Taylor from prison. She snuck handwritten notes to a friend, who posted them to both her @LegitTayUpdates account and her personal account.
“I’m still in prison lmao but I asked a visiting friend to post this,” she wrote on a sheet of graph paper. “Can y’all … stop making comments on Taylor’s body … she’ll let us know when/if she’s pregnant. Calm down.”
A friend also posted Na’ama’s written account of her prison experience (it’s “boring”). Apparently she met another girl and they gabbed pop-culture. Unsurprisingly, Na’ama wrote a lot about Taylor Swift in the diary-like entries.
Na’ama told Teen Vogue that she had many Swift songs stuck in her head wile in prison. “On particularly good days I’d hum ‘New Romantics’ in the shower, on difficult days I played ‘Change’ in my head,” she says. “‘Dear John’ and ‘Treacherous’ also got stuck in my head pretty often. My favorite Taylor song (other than ‘Thug Story’) is ‘I Know Places,’ which really fits the environment of prison but also talks a lot about running, which I obviously couldn’t do.”
When her tweets went viral on Tuesday, Na’ama called it a “nice surprise.”
“Anyway,” she wrote, “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!”