ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Bad blood

Taylor Swift’s Israeli bodyguard heads home to fight in Gaza war

Guard has received viral praise for attentiveness to superstar’s safety, urges world to ‘Stand with Israel, stand with HUMANITY’ after Hamas’s devastating onslaught

Taylor Swift performs at a concert on "The Eras Tour," in 2023. (Paolo Villanueva/Wikimedia Commons via JTA)
Taylor Swift performs at a concert on "The Eras Tour," in 2023. (Paolo Villanueva/Wikimedia Commons via JTA)

JTA — An Israeli bodyguard who has been working for pop superstar Taylor Swift on her global “Eras” tour has returned to Israel to fight in its ongoing war against Hamas.

Eran Swissa, an entertainment reporter for the Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, conveyed the news on Sunday.

“I have a pretty great life in the US, a dream job, great friends, and a comfortable home,” said the guard, who chose not to share his name. “I didn’t have to come here, but I couldn’t stand by while families were slaughtered and burned alive in their homes. Don’t stand by and do nothing. Don’t be on the wrong side of history.”

The guard had gone viral over the summer for his attentiveness while protecting Swift. Clips of him closely watching the crowd while escorting Swift into and out of her concerts were the subject of several videos and posts across social media.

“That man just scanned a thousand people in the crowd in six seconds, six seconds flat. Whatever Taylor Swift’s paying him, it’s not enough,” one user said in a TikTok video in July that received 1.3 million likes.

In his statement to Swissa, the guard strongly condemned Hamas, writing that “those are not human beings.” He went on: “I’m not only standing here with Israel and actually standing here. I’m standing here with humanity. Don’t be on the wrong side of history!! Don’t stand on the sidelines and say nothing… Stand with Israel, stand with HUMANITY!!!!!”

Swift, who has spoken out on political and current events in the past, has so far not publicly commented on the war in Israel. That silence has elicited criticism from some of her fans, especially as she promotes her new concert film, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” which opened in theaters on Friday and set a box office record.

Nicole Rose, a Jewish jeweler with 150,000 Instagram followers, wrote: “Terrible timing. Kids are getting raped. Innocent people are dying on both sides. Hamas!! a terrorist organization is slaughtering Israelis… but it’s ‘launch day’??? I’m super disappointed in her.”

While presale tickets for the “Eras” film had been selling quickly in Israel, all movie theaters are currently closed due to the war, according to the Jerusalem Post.

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