After Demi Lovato shared numerous photos from her trip to Israel, and said of the Holy Land, “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,” the singer was bombarded online with hateful messages for being ignorant and not caring for the people of Palestine.
On late Wednesday night, Lovato offered up a lengthy apology to anyone who felt offended by her traveling to Israel, and made it clear that she didn’t fly there to make to a political statement.
Lovato wrote in the since deleted message,
“I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few posts. No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone. With that being said, I’m sorry if I’ve 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. This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT. Now I realize it hurt people and for that I’m sorry.”
Lovato then turned the blame on herself. To her nearly 75 million followers she wrote, “Sorry I’m not more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience. Going against all advice right now and apologizing because it feels right to me and I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people.”
For a brief moment, her Instagram bio read, “Social media sucks,” but that was also deleted.
Lovato was Attacked for Not Mentioning Palestine During Her Trip to Israel
Like it is for many people, visiting the land of Israel for the first time can be a transcendent experience regardless of religion, something Lovato pointed out when discussing her visit. She wrote,
“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.”
Lovato not mentioning Palestine in her captions, or the over 70 years of conflict between the two nations, which has always been, and continues to be a deeply impenetrable matter of discourse around the world, brought on major online backlash.
But is it on Lovato’s shoulders to solve the Israel-Palestinian conflict? While many of her fans came to her defense, understanding that she visited Israel for a self-exploratory adventure, not everyone felt the same. After Lovato posted the photos from her trip on October 1, sharing pictures from her visit to Jerusalem’s Shalva National Center, a place dedicated to helping people with disabilities, Yad Vashem, a Holocaust Museum, and the Wailing Wall, she shut off the comments section on Instagram.
Even though Lovato doesn’t have a Twitter account, the discussion on the social media site continued on with varying views.