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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Demi Lovato has apologized after accepting a free trip to Israel that critics viewed as taking a political stance in the country's conflict with Palestine.

The pop singer posted pictures from her trip on Instagram earlier this week and later turned off the comments after a backlash. She then wrote an apology in her Instagram story.

Demi Lovato issued an apology after a backlash over her trip to Israel, which she said was not a political statement. Jordan Strauss / AP

"I'm extremely frustrated," she wrote. "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. 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."

Lovato, 27, who was raised Christian, posted a picture on Instagram of herself being baptized in the Jordan River during her trip.

"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."

She also visited Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, as well as Shalva, a nonprofit organization for people with special needs and their families.

Lovato, who has been candid in the past about her struggles with body image and substance abuse, wanted to set the record straight about her trip.

"I'd rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people," she wrote in her Instagram story. "I love my fans, all of them, from all over."