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#SwiftiesForPalestine: Taylor Swift urged to speak up on Gaza conflict

#SwiftiesforPalestine: Taylor Swift urged to speak up on Gaza conflict
#SwiftiesforPalestine: Taylor Swift urged to speak up on Gaza conflict Copyright AP Photo/Lewis Joly - Canva
Copyright AP Photo/Lewis Joly - Canva
By David Mouriquand
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Following an Israeli airstrike on a camp at the Gazan city of Rafah, and a second airstrike this week, the hashtags #AllEyesOnRafah and #SwiftiesFor Palestine have been trending on X. And now, Taylor Swift is being urged to break her silence on Gaza.

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Amid the ongoing Eras Tour and the "Blockout 2024" movement, which gained traction on TikTok after the Met Gala earlier this month and aims to block the social media accounts of celebrities who remain silent over the conflict in Gaza, global superstar Taylor Swift is on the hot seat.

The “#SwiftiesForPalestine” movement has been gaining traction on social media platforms, with fans urging Swift to use her platform to speak out against the human rights abuses in Gaza. 

This comes after many artists and celebrities have spoken out about the humanitarian crisis, while many are facing criticism for their silence. These have included Drake, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Dwayne Johnson and Kylie Jenner, with various accounts dedicated to the “Blockout 2024” movement compiling lists of celebrities for activists to block.

According to reports, Swift has lost over 200,000+ followers on various social media accounts amid this backlash.

Some of Swift's fans feel let down and are bemoaning the fact that their idol has not spoken out, despite several fellow celebrities, including Ariana Grande and Gigi Hadid, adding their names to an Artists for Ceasefire letter addressed to Joe Biden last year. Dua Lipa is another celebrity who has been vocal about the conflict, recently sharing and commenting on the ‘All Eyes On Rafah’ image, advocating for an end to Israel’s ongoing genocide of Palestinian people.

Swifties are demanding the same engagement from their star.

“This is about lives and justice – if she can rally all of us to vote, she has the power to speak up about injustice,” expressed one TikTok user advocating for blocking and unfollowing Swift.

“Taylor please say something. Your silence is hurting us. We need you to stand with Palestine and condemn the Israeli occupation and aggression,” one user commented, while another posted: “I love Taylor but she needs to do better. She can’t just ignore what’s happening in Palestine. It’s not political, it’s humanitarian.”

"[Taylor Swift], we are calling for you to speak up NOW," posted another user. "To donate to Palestinian families fleeing the bombing in Gaza NOW. To spread awareness about the massacre in Rafah NOW."

In the absence of an official comment, some Swifties are using the singer’s Eras Tour, which has now hit Europe, as a platform to raise awareness about the conflict in Gaza.

These fans are encouraging the exchange friendship bracelets – a mainstay at Swift's gigs - which bear messages of support for Palestine.

“When posting your photos from the eras tour or tweeting to taylor nation add the following: #swiftiesforpalestine, #ceasefirenow, #freepalestine and add https://arab.org/click-to-help/palestine/," posted ofthemisery, before adding: “paint a watermelon on your hand like we do with 13”.

Swift fans paint the number 13 on their hands because of the singer's love for the number. As for the watermelon, the fruit is linked with Palestinian activism because the colours - red, black, white and green - match those of the Palestinian flag.

“If you’re attending any Eras shows, please consider making and exchanging Palestine bracelets! If you can bring the Palestinian flag, posters, etc. We must keep Palestine in the public eye and encourage Taylor to speak up,” one fan posted.

Taylor Swift performs at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden - 17 May 2024.
Taylor Swift performs at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden - 17 May 2024.Christine Olsson/AP

This is not the first time the 34-year-old star has been criticised for her silence with regards to ongoing world issues

While speaking out on divisive topics can be seen as unsurprising considering the backlash celebrities have faced after voicing their opinions on the conflict, a neutral stance is increasingly being viewed as unacceptable or even cowardice. And vocal or silent, no one – not even Swift – can avoid this public scrutiny.

As the US election approaches, it seems that more and more of her fans are demanding that she use her platform to endorse a candidate, as well as to stand up for human rights.

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