American pop star and actress Demi Lovato has been accused of ignorance on the Palestinian issue after she posted several photos from her sponsored trip to Israel with lengthy captions praising the country as “absolutely magical”.
Many have accused the 27-year-old singer of ignoring the apartheid system affecting Palestinians as she is pictured exploring landmarks such as the Western (Al-Buraq) Wall, and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
Her fans took to Twitter to highlight the racist Israeli policies enforced on Palestinians including the destruction of their homes, land grabs and being denied their rights to live, work and move freely. The backlash was so great, Lovato blocked the comment feature on Instagram.
Demi Lovato posts a picture thanking Israel… and then turns the comments off so no one can mention Palestine in the comments. Proving she isn’t ignorant to it all, she’s just purposely choosing to ignore the genocide taking place.
We see you crackhead Demi. pic.twitter.com/fR0EwPAF7a
— free palestine (@FreeLaddin) October 1, 2019
On a separate Instagram post from the trip where comments were enabled, numerous fans commented using the hashtag “FreePalestine” and the Palestine flag emoji.
The backlash included fans sharing their history after Lovato failed to address and speak about the issues resulting from the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict in any of her posts and referring to the land solely as Israel.
— Yahia (@yahia_hawajry) October 1, 2019
The former Disney star, who has more than 74 million Instagram followers, explained in the caption that she “was raised Christian and has Jewish ancestors” and was excited to travel to places she’d “read about in the Bible growing up”.
Some voiced their disappointment in Lovato’s lack of knowledge by claiming she didn’t do enough research before her trip, which showed ignorance towards the plight of the Palestinians and even getting her facts wrong about the correct part of the Jordan River Jesus was claimed to be baptised.
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
— e (@taylenaora) October 1, 2019
Demi Lovato is really on Instagram showing love to Israel. She says she has, “never felt more renewed in my life.” Well, rat, while you’re renewing yourself and dunking your head in water, they’re murdering innocent people. Free Palestine 🇵🇸
— E 🌻 (@mariannereading) October 1, 2019
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-
— amirah (@PVRlS) October 2, 2019
Last night, she posted an apology in which she admitted she didn’t realise her trip would cause controversy, as it was not meant to insinuate any representation of a political statement, and apologised for not being “more educated”.
But this put the singer under more fire as some of her Israeli fans accused her of siding with anti-Israel activists. Lovato then removed the comment.
Demi Lovato visited Israel & nest of antisemitic trolls started attacking her on Instagram for visiting the only democracy in the Middle East. You’re from America, you have camps with children at your border. We’re not perfect, but don’t come to here & post things like that, FFS pic.twitter.com/GhHeYjBZtM
— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) October 3, 2019
Please share. I’m embarrassed for #DemiLovato. It turns out AntiSemites were pissed off about her Israel trip. So of course she apologizes to the AntiSemitic bigots. She needs more than an education, she needs a spine so she can stand up for what is right https://t.co/jvJuX0XBK2
— Shoshana (@shmeze) October 3, 2019
Lovato has been on a break from music since her near-fatal overdose in Los Angeles.
She has previously shown support for countries in conflict; changing her Instagram profile picture to blue to stand in solidarity with Sudanese protesters during their uprising earlier this year.