Taylor Swift Fan Account Creator Says She Was Sent to Prison for Refusing to Serve in Israeli Military
The woman behind a Taylor Swift parody fan account is speaking out about being imprisoned after refusing to join the Israeli army.
The creator of Taylor Swift Updates, known as @LegitTayUpdates on Twitter, took to the platform on Tuesday (April 2) with an update about the recent prison term she claims she served earlier this year for declining to pass compulsory military service in the Israeli Defence Force (IDF). "As most of you know, I haven't been very active in the past couple of months because I was in prison," she tweeted in her return this week.
The woman, called "N" (we're using her first initial for identity protection), initially informed followers of her future imprisonment on February 1. "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)," she tweeted at the time. "So uhhh no more me pissing you guys off for a while. What a relief, huh?"
Per Huck Magazine, in Israel, all citizens aged over 18 are required to enlist in military service. Those who resist recruitment can face prison time — though, as N pointed out, exemptions can be settled before a panel of military officials. Hers was rejected.
"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 explained in a tweet. "Israel is already under terrible leadership & I want Palestine to get the help it needs to establish itself as a strong democracy."
To the amazement of her fellow Swifties, who voiced their concern for the user, the woman said this sort of discipline is "a fairly common thing where I live" and that "everyone knows someone who went to prison for not enlisting." In fact, N supposedly passed her time behind bars writing notes (see below) and having her friends tweet them from her account.
On Wednesday (April 3), Teen Vogue interviewed N about her imprisonment, in which she details her two-month sentence, the origin of her parody account, and her love for Swift.
In explaining her decision to refuse to join the Israeli military, N responded: "For years in Israel, everyone around me told it was "us vs. them" — them being Palestinians — and I believed it because I trusted the people in my community. But as I grew older and saw more videos and articles about the things my government is doing in Palestine, I couldn't do nothing. I'm very privileged in the sense that I could go to prison without any further consequences."
Read N's full interview here.