Demi Lovato Said She "Wasn't Told" Her Instagram Posts From Israel Would Be Controversial

    "No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone."

    Earlier this week, Demi Lovato shared a series of photos from a recent trip to Israel, including one of her being baptised in the River Jordan.

    In the accompanying caption, Demi explained her reason for going on the trip, revealing that she was excited to visit the places she'd read about in the Bible growing up.

    instagram.com

    She wrote: "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 continued. "I’ve never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God…something I’ve been missing for a few years now."

    Demi went on to say that being baptised in the "same place [as] Jesus" had "renewed" her more than anything else in her life.

    instagram.com

    She wrote: "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."

    And she concluded the post: "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, within hours of sharing the photos and caption, her comments were flooded with messages from fans who criticised her for failing to acknowledge the ongoing Israel–Palestine conflict in any of the posts, with some accusing her of taking a political stance on the subject.

    Demi I love you, I respect your faith, I understand how important it is for a Christian to go to such an holy place but doing this without saying A WORD about Palestine? Girl we ain’t supporting you on this one.

    In fact, the backlash became so great that Demi eventually disabled comments on the post.

    demi lovato posting about israel and then turning off the comments so she doesn’t need to deal with comments educating her about palestine the ignorance i-

    Well, she's now released a lengthy note apologising for the Instagram post, explaining that she was unaware that accepting a free trip would lead to such controversy.

    Instagram: @ddlovato

    On Instagram stories, Demi wrote: "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'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," she continued. "This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, not a political statement and now I realise it hurt people and for that I’m sorry."

    Demi went on to say that she was flouting "all advice" by sharing an apology because she wanted to be "authentic".

    And she signed off her note: "I love my fans, all of them, from all over."

    However, the apology immediately drew further criticism from fans, with many people saying her response was ignorant.

    I’m sorry but Demi put herself in this situation. That lame ass black background with white text is dumb as hell. Honestly how old and ignorant is she to not know about Palestine. I literally knew from before I was 10. Americans are so trash.

    my international politics is a little rusty but i feel like everyone knows at least a little about the israel/palestine situation - even if demi didn’t know the full extent she must have known this would be controversial? https://t.co/Jwcy7M6ipW

    But some fans did jump to her defence.

    @DailyDemiFacts Y’all in the comments blaming Demi for what’s happening in Palestine. You are aware that celebrities aren’t entitled to fix the world, right? She’s literally talking about how important her faith is to her and y’all are so quick to drag her, smh 🙄

    I honestly aint mad at demi lmao americans don’t know shit about what’s actually going on in politics, 90% of them have never heard of the word Palestine anyways and every other white person just knows the country as israel because of lack of education about the topic https://t.co/HUqSl5dto2

    Ellie Woodward is Celebrity and Entertainment Editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Woodward at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here