Demi Lovato took a spiritual trip to Israel and was baptized in the Jordan River. But now, after the trip was interpreted as a political stance, she’s apologizing for “offending anyone” for traveling there.
Earlier this week, Lovato flew to Israel as part of a free spiritual trip in exchange for “a few [social media] posts.” During her trip, she posted photos on Instagram of herself visiting four main destinations: the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism; Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial; the Shalva National Center, an organization that helps children with special needs; and the Jordan River, where she was baptized.
After the trip, Lovato took to Instagram to explain why it was so important to her. “Verified I am an American singer,” she said. “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… I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God, something I’ve been missing for a few years now.” See her post below.
Then came the chastising comments. Numerous people interpreted her posts as a political stance, reports Entertainment Tonight, specifically that Lovato taking the side of Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Stressed, she took to Instagram stories to apologize to fans for “offending anyone” by visiting Israel and explained there were no political intentions involved.
“No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone,” Lovato wrote. “With that being said, I’m sorry if I’ve hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention,” she added. “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.”
The Creative Community for Peace, an apolitical non-profit that promotes the arts as a means to peace and counter the cultural boycott of Israel, has weighed in. This morning, CCFP sent a press email condemning “the recent attack by boycott movement activists” on Demi Lovato. “There was nothing political about her trip, but rather this was a trip of learning, compassion, and self-discovery,” the statement reads. “Attacks like this against artists must end, and we echo Nick Cave’s words from last year when he stated: ‘The cultural boycott of Israel is cowardly and shameful. Israel is a real, vibrant, functioning democracy — yes, with Arab members of parliament — and so engaging with Israelis, who vote, may be more helpful than scaring off artists or shutting down means of engagement.’”