Regina Spektor or Benjamin Netanyahu?

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rspektor.jpgLast night I was lucky enough to see Regina Spektor perform at Radio City to a packed house. Even though my love for Regina’s music only started a couple of months ago due to Matthue’s post on her latest album “Far,” I’ve pretty much heard all of her songs, or so I thought. Towards the end of her performance after singing an upbeat, comical song, she suddenly started playing something dark and condemning. The whole room fell silent as Regina shocked the crowd with the words:

“All the Holocaust deniers
To a bathhouse warm and quiet
Complimentary soap, complimentary haircut
And gas them up until they know that

All their ink stains on their wrists mean business
And God is the almighty witness
I wish they’d cure the friendly neighbors
Of the disease which makes them haters

You who accuse the dying of lying
You can’t tell fake from honest crying
Argentina steakhouse Swiss Bank gold card
Aren’t going to help you were you’re going at

So who’ll be the Jew to make the papers
Drenched in blood up to your blue Jew eyeballs
And God and his almighty wisdom
May somehow grant an open season

All the Holocaust deniers
In a bathhouse warm and quiet
Complimentary soap, complimentary haircut
And gas them up until they know that

All their ink stains on their wrists mean business
And God is the almighty witness
I wish they’d cure the friendly neighbors
Of the disease which makes them haters”

Although I had previously applauded Regina for her witty and unique lyrics, now I also felt a sense of camaraderie and pride. Regina was expressing the frustration which people around the world have been feeling. With Ahmadinejad calling the Holocaust “a lie”, along with the shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, many people, specifically survivors and there decedents feel helpless. Should we even come to the table to refute these obscene lies? But, at the same time how can we allow Holocaust denial to dominate the political conversation without intervening?

A few weeks ago, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spoke at the U.N., fully equipped with the original diagrams of the Aushwitz-Birkenau gas chambers and the documents signed by Heinrich Himmler at Wannsee ordering the Final Solution. But many people were torn about the approach of his speech and wondered, why is Benjamin Netanyahu even refuting Ahmadinejad’s ridiculous claims? Has historical truth become so inverted that even the greatest genocide on earth is now being debated? Unfortunately, it seems so.

Regina’s song “Ink Stains” is angry and revengeful, she will not come to the table with the Holocaust denier, she will only condemn him. I applaud her now for being a voice of reason, clear and strong. She does not try to refute the lie, but simply states “God is the almighty witness,” meaning there is no need to refute such nonsense.

After the concert, I turned to Google to find anything I could about the song (which is not on any album that she’s released). What I found was a YouTube video of Regina playing “Ink Stains” to a crowd in Amsterdam. Before she started the song she thanked the people of Amsterdam for preserving Anne Frank’s house and noted that she had just visited what remained of it. She dedicated the song to Anne Frank.

Posted on October 15, 2009

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One thought on “Regina Spektor or Benjamin Netanyahu?

  1. Christopher

    It’s a shame that she could feel so passionately about this issue but then remain so blissfully ignorant about the occupation of Palestine. I applaud her insistence on remembering history, but we must remember to learn from it too.

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