Demi Lovato has apologised after facing backlash for accepting an “absolutely magical” free trip to Israel.
The singer was accused of supporting the Israeli government after sharing a series of social media posts, which revealed her experience of being baptised in the River Jordan and visiting various historical sites.
She was specifically criticised after making no mention of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict, which has seen Israel accused of widespread human rights abuses.
After pleading with fans that it was a “spiritual experience, not a political statement,” she then explained the reality of the trip.
Lovato, who said she was “extremely frustrated”, explained that she accepted the trip “in exchange for a few posts” on her social media accounts.
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I am an American singer. I was raised Christian and have Jewish ancestors. When I was offered an amazing opportunity to visit the places I’d read about in the Bible growing up, I said yes. There is something absolutely magical about Israel. I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God…something I’ve been missing for a few years now. Spirituality is so important to me…to be baptized in the Jordan river – the same place Jesus was baptized – I’ve never felt more renewed in my life. This trip has been so important for my well-being, my heart, and my soul. I’m grateful for the memories made and the opportunity to be able to fill the God-sized hole in my heart. Thank you for having me, Israel ?
“No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone,” she wrote on Instagram Stories.
“With that being said, I’m sorry if I hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention. Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return.”
She later added: “Now I realize [sic] it hurt people and for that I’m sorry,” the Disney Channel alum continued. “Sorry I’m not more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience.”
“I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people. I love my fans, all of them, from all over.”
While musical artists remain divided over playing shows in Israel, The 1975’s Matty Healy admitted earlier this year that he would play in both Israel and Palestine.