“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," popstar Lovato said.
Popstar Demi Lovato came under fire for touring Israel as an image-building exercise and after widespread backlash, she apologized for the “free trip” to Israel.
“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,” Lovato posted on Instagram.
“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,” she added.
“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.”
After criticism, the “X-Factor” judge apologized for having “hurt people” and said “sorry” that she was “not more educated” and for “thinking the trip was just a spiritual experience.”
Lovato is one of the series of visitors who have faced backlashes for visiting Israel and for whitewashing the crime of the occupying country towards Palestinians.
Lovato’s trip was not publicized before going there. It was only reported in local media when she was spotted by a citizen visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Sept. 19.
Her trip angered many and people accused her of being used as a “Zionist propaganda tool.”
“I’m extremely frustrated,” she later wrote. “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 and now I realize it hurt people and for that I’m sorry. 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. I love my fans, all of them, from all over.”
Israeli news website Ynet Thursday reported that Lovato received US$150,000 for the trip along with it being free.