Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Demi Lovato has apologized for accepting a free trip to the occupation state in exchange for some Instagram posts following a backlash by fans.
The singer and former Disney star said she did not realize the trip would be controversial after fans said she was supporting the occupation state and its actions by visiting it.
“I’m extremely frustrated,” she wrote. “I accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few [social media] posts. No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone.”
She emphasized that the free trip was “not a political statement,” and said sorry for not being “more educated” on the matter.
She added that she was “going against all advice” to apologize “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.”
It ended with, “I love my fans, all of them, from all over.”
On October 1 the singer posted a series of photos from Israel, including one where she’s being baptized in the Jordan River. “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,” she wrote under the post, “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.”
According to Ynet’s Ran Boker, Lovato was paid over $150,000 to visit the country. Some of that money apparently came from the Jerusalem Ministry with additional funds secured by private benefactors. While Lovato asserted that the trip was “free”, this means at least some of it was financed by Israeli taxpayers.
The posts prompted a deluge of pro-Palestine comments by social media users. After the backlash, Lovato deleted them all and turned off the comment option on the photos. She then shared an apology in the form of an Instagram Story, which was quickly deleted.
It’s difficult to know who Lovato is referring to when she asserts that she went “against all advice” to apologize, but in May she hired Scooter Braun as her new manager. Just a couple months after the hire, Braun made headlines for being the subject of a scathing social media post by Taylor Swift who accused him of “incessant, manipulative bullying.”
Last year, Braun was honored as an “Ambassador of Peace” at the annual Creative Community for Peace (CCFP) gala. CCFP is an anti-BDS organization and a front for the right-wing pro-Israel group StandWithUs. The organization encourages musical acts to visit Israel against the protests of BDS activists who criticize such performances.
Braun has been vocal for the pro-Israel support in the past. After the United Nations adopted a Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlement activity in December 2016, Braun tweeted, “Simple…I stand with peace and I stand with Israel.”