A growing number of Swifties are calling on Taylor Swift to break her silence on Gaza

Ahead of the Madrid leg of Taylor Swift’s globe-trotting Eras Tour, some fans had their minds on more than just the pop star’s set.

In the hours before her Wednesday concert, the hashtag #SwiftiesForPalestine was among the top trends on X, easily besting the hashtag for that evening’s show. Many posts called on concert attendees to bring signs or fly Palestinian flags at the event, hoping they’d catch Swift’s attention and encourage her to speak out.  

The hashtag continued to spread Thursday morning with more than 133,000 posts, according to X’s trending page, with many of them coming from fan accounts that have posted about Swift for years.

It’s a sentiment that has been building for a while around many celebrities and Swift in particular, with her sizable and vocal fan base that, when mobilized, can be a formidable political force. In recent days, the scattered activism has boiled over into more palpable outrage — largely driven by Israel’s military offensive in Rafah and an airstrike this month that set a refugee camp aflame, with graphic pictures spreading online of the aftermath. The Israeli Defense Forces has said it was targeting two senior Hamas militants and that tent shelters were not in the immediate vicinity. 

“Seeing all these devastating images and videos from Rafah has awoken something in all of us and we would love Taylor’s support. A lot of people with influence are speaking out and we see the effects this has,” said Sarah Smits, a Swiftie from Belgium who runs a fan account with more than 56,000 followers on X. 

The conflict has been ongoing for more than six months, and Israel has said it will continue to fight to free roughly 125 people believed to still be held captive in Gaza. 

Swift, arguably the most famous and popular person in the U.S., has not made any comments on Israel or Gaza since the conflict began. And while she has at times weighed in on U.S. politics (most notably on abortion rights and legislation that has targeted the LGBTQ community), she has also faced scrutiny from her fans over her silence on various issues. Other fans, however, have expressed concern that voicing a stance on contentious global political issues could compromise the star’s safety while on an international tour.

Smits, who said she watches every Eras Tour livestream and has spotted Palestinian flags in the audience, is planning to bring her own pro-Palestinian friendship bracelets when she attends one of Swift’s July shows in Amsterdam.

“The impact Taylor Swift would have would be enormous and so her silence is frustrating,” she said.

The push comes alongside a wider social media movement that has refocused attention on Israel’s push into Rafah, a city Israel had once designated a safe zone. On Instagram, a particularly viral image that appeared to be generated by artificial intelligence showed refugee tents that spelled out “All Eyes on Rafah.” That image, which was criticized in its own right for drowning out real images from the ground in Rafah, was seized on by some Swifties after Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, two musicians who have produced much of Swift’s music, both reshared it on Instagram this week.

Many Swifties also noted that Paramore, the band that is opening for Swift during the European leg of the Eras Tour, shared a statement on its Instagram story Wednesday spotlighting Save The Children and Doctors Without Borders, two nongovernmental organizations providing humanitarian aid in Gaza.

A representative for Swift did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As part of their push, some people on X resurfaced a clip of past remarks Swift made in her 2020 Netflix documentary “Miss Americana,” in which she expressed regret over not speaking out against Donald Trump during the 2016 election. 

“I need to be on the right side of history,” she is seen telling her family and public relations staff.

Swift faced some backlash in the aftermath of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel over a film of a concert performed earlier in the year played in Jerusalem, as concerns were growing about the conflict and its humanitarian consequences in Gaza. 

Now, more Pro-Palestinian sentiment has surfaced at some of her recent shows. Photos of concertgoers bringing Palestinian flags or holding up bedazzled, Swift-themed pro-Palestinian posters circulated across social media this week as Swifties online encouraged one another — especially those who have scored front-row Eras Tour seats — to display them at her shows in hopes the pop star would take notice.

Many also urged attendees to make and trade Swift-themed friendship bracelets (an activity that’s become customary at her shows) that incorporate pro-Palestinian messaging, and to tag social media posts from the show with #SwiftiesForPalestine.

Swift was also named on several of the #Blockout2024 and “digital guillotine” lists circulating earlier this month, as social media users organized a controversial campaign to block hundreds of celebrities and influencers who have not been vocal on Gaza. Some stars on the block lists, such as rapper Lizzo and influencer Chris Olsen, posted their first public videos about Gaza in the days after the campaign began.

The pressure on Swift appears propelled, at least in part, by the understanding that 34-year-old icon now commands an audience that can quickly spring into action. In an open letter to Swift shared online Wednesday, one fan account wrote that even the “smallest action” from Swift could inspire her massive fanbase to “raise support for immediate humanitarian help” for Palestinians.

“The international community, including many influential voices, has called for justice and peace, yet the agony still continues,” the letter read. “Your influence transcends borders, and your words have the power to reach and activate an extensive audience, including people who are unaware of the severity of the genocide.”

Canadian Swiftie Mélina Loyer, who has been heavily involved in the #SwiftiesForPalestine online, said the growing pro-Palestinian support from other big names in entertainment is making Swift’s lack of a public stance stand out even more.

“I think Swifties have officially had enough of Taylor’s silence because of big celebrities like Ariana Grande and Dua Lipa recently talking about their support for Palestine,” Loyer said, adding, “We think she no longer has an excuse to remain silent considering her big audience and the impact she has.”

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