Demi Lovato is facing harsh backlash as a result of her trip to Israel, where she said she was baptized in the Jordan River. Describing the trip as "absolutely magical," the 27-year-old took to social media to gush over the "spiritual experience," but was pummeled with criticism by those accusing her of taking a political stance amid the country's ongoing conflict with Palestine.
During her trip, she visited the Western Wall, Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center and was baptized in the Jordan River. The latter, she said, made her feel more "renewed" than ever before.
"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," she captioned a series of pictures. "I've never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God…something I've been missing for a few years now."
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"Spirituality is so important to me...to be baptized in the Jordan river (sic) — the same place Jesus was baptized — I've never felt more renewed in my life," she wrote. "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."
However, the "Sorry Not Sorry" singer's tone on the matter changed completely when she shared — and then deleted — an apology to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday night.
"I’m extremely frustrated. 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 hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention," she wrote. "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," she concluded.
She also turned off comments on a photo showing her Jordan River baptism as scathing criticisms started to pour in. Before deleting all the comments, she pushed back on Instagram, writing, "Okay but do y'all realize, I don't have an opinion on middle eastern conflicts nor is it my place to have one being an American singer and you're asking me to choose a side?"
Her detractors took to Twitter to criticize her.
Demi Lovato praising Israel is disgusting and wrong. She knows exactly what is going on in Palestine, hundreds of people are being killed everyday, women and children are getting raped by Israelis soldiers and yet you’re telling me to not make a big deal out of it? #FreePalestine pic.twitter.com/9w7lSiXmO1— esma (@sweetenerora) October 1, 2019
Someone tag demi lovato and tell her to add these pictures to her instagram post praising israel. pic.twitter.com/GBymTIWqO2— little mix (@slaymymix) October 1, 2019
Demi Lovato being dumb and ignorant per usual pic.twitter.com/dj26wKY0lI— N (@seasparadiise) October 3, 2019
Still others defended the singer as well.
The comments on Demi Lovato’s post about her visit to the fucking HOLOCAUST museum are a train wreck. If the first thing that comes to your mind after seeing those pictures is israel vs palestine then you’ve got a little problem lol pic.twitter.com/YHrD7gJivK— ✡︎(((elisheva))) ✡︎ ig: jewishlgbt (@jewish_lgbt) October 1, 2019
IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH DEMI #DemiLovato GOING TO ISRAEL AND BEING BAPTIZED AND FEELING GOD AND BEING HAPPY & VISITING DISABLED CHILDREN .... THEN UN FUCKING FOLLOW ME U FAKE ASS BITCHES!!!— I LOVE DEMI LOVATO 🏳️🌈 (@demi_isagoddess) October 2, 2019
Photo credit: Neilson Barnard / Staff / Getty