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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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"That same day the lists of allotments were forwarded to our legal department at Haifa." If the rules had been followed and no protest was lodged by any responsible person, the allotments were held to be legally binding and title was registered after one week. If, however, a protest was received, the case was investigated immediately and on the spot.

"For this purpose I organized a staff of traveling investigators, who were attached to the legal department in Haifa. This staff consisted of two officials with legal training and a secretary. They were provided with a list of the places from which the complaints had been received, and instructed to go from place to place; as speedily as possible. The costs for investigating the complaints were defrayed by the party against whom judgment was rendered. There was no further court of appeal.

"For such and similar tasks, I had Wellner, who was in charge of the Haifa bureau, engage fifty young graduate lawyers and doctors; of law from various countries. We needed these multilingual legal forces for our correspondence as well, which had to be carried on in many languages.

"Most of our letters were sent in reply to requests for data received from independent business men. Here Wellner's legal bureau worked hand in glove with Fischer's engineering department. We had announced in the press of many countries that business men with some capital who were interested in establishing industries in a Mediterranean country could secure reliable data and advice on labor and market conditions, and even credits for the purchase of machinery. Every mail brought sheaves of inquiries from the offices of the newspapers in which we had advertised. They were easy to answer, as most of them merely asked which country was meant. I had six or seven forms worked out in reply to such inquiries, and the office merely had to fill in the names and addresses. However, some hundreds of serious business men did emerge from among the thousands of inquirers. They were by no means all Jews. At first, indeed, the English and the German Protestants predominated, since those nations are the most enterprising and boldest of colonizers. In replying to questions, we were not in any way swayed by considerations of race or creed. Everyone who wanted to work the soil of Israel was welcome. Our technical bureau and our secretariat conscientiously furnished whatever information was desired. Of course, before we entered into close relations with anyone, we investigated his references carefully. Business men who came to us bought their experience more cheaply than elsewhere, because we told them where competition was keen or likely to become so. In its own interest, the New Society was obligated to foster all enterprises which attached themselves to it. We therefore regarded independent business men as persons who were furthering our own plans.

"Out of all these questions and answers there was gradually evolved a department of labor and industrial statistics to which were greatly indebted for our prosperity. Working on the information with which it provided us, we were able to establish ourselves in commercial freedom without either hectic over-production or interference in the affairs of the individual manufacturer....

"When all of these projects were under way, I permitted myself a jolly diversion...."

The invalid beckoned to her son. He halted the machine, and hurried over to her. She was tired and wanted to be put back to bed. David and Miriam shoved the wheel chair back into the sick room. The poor invalid made her farewell to the guests with a gentle glance. The elder Littwak sighed, and the whole company felt under a cloud.


When David returned to the room, he asked whether they desired to listen further to Joe's narrative. There was ready assent, and Joe resumed his story.

"Permitted myself a jolly diversion. At first, it was looked upon as a sort of game or entertainment, and I was very much criticized for it. I am referring to my Ship of the Wise. I wanted this ship to visit 'Old-New-Land' prior to the Return of the Jews. Its very appearance in Mediterranean waters was to herald the new era.

"It was not difficult to arrange. I explained my idea to the manager of a large English tourist bureau. Two weeks later he handed me estimates, contract forms, and plans.. At his suggestion, I chartered a fine modern steamer, the 'Futuro,' from an Italian line plying between Naples and Alexandria. She was to be ready for us at Genoa on the fifteenth of March, and would remain at our disposal for six weeks. In the meantime, the tourist manager reserved accommodations for five hundred guests at first-class hotels in Italy, Egypt, Asia Minor and Greece, and provided them with tickets on the Italian railways (they were to embark either at Naples or at Genoa, as they chose). Outwardly, the expedition resembled the pleasure tours of the Near East already common in those days. But it was really much more.

"The ladies and gentlemen whom we invited for that six weeks' spring Lour of the eastern Mediterranean belonged to the intellectual aristocracy of the whole civilized world. The choicest spirits were called, without distinction of race or creed; and they came. They came not only because we offered them a delightful excursion, but because they knew this to be a unique occasion for meeting with their peers. On board the 'Futuro' were gathered poets and philosophers, inventors, explorers, investigators and artists of every type, political economists, statesmen, publicists, journalists.

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