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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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"My fatherland! You don't want to turn back to Trieste?"

"God forbid!" roared Kingscourt. "Your fatherland lies ahead of us-Palestine."

"Oh, that's what you meant. You are mistaken. I have no connection with Palestine. I have never been there. It does not interest me. My ancestors left it eighteen hundred years ago. What should I seek there? I think that only anti-Semites can call Palestine our fatherland."

But, even as he spoke, Friedrich remembered David Littwak, and added, "Aside from the anti-Semites, I have heard only one little Jewboy say that Palestine is our land. ...Did you mean to tease me, Mr. Kingscourt?"

"No, may lightning strike me if I did! I meant it seriously. Really, I don't understand you Jews. If I were a Jew, I should be frightfully proud of that sort of thing. And yet you are ashamed of it. You needn't wonder that you are despised. Present company excluded, of course."

"Herr von Koenigshoff, are you perhaps an anti-Semite?" asked Friedrich annoyed. He had called his companion by his German name for the first time, without himself knowing why.

"Now you're excited, my son." Kingscourt was smiling. "I'm a hater of mankind. You know all about that. But you take it amiss if I don't care for the Jews. Comfort yourself, man. I hate the Jews no more and no less than I hate Christians, Moslems, and fire-worshipers. The whole lot aren't worth a charge of powder. I understand good old Nero. One single neck, to be run through at a single stroke. Or, no! Rather let the rascally crew live and worry each other to death."

Friedrich was mollified. "I was stupid," he said. "You took me with you. That's the best proof."

"I'm reminded," continued Kingscourt, "of an affair I once had with one of your fellow-nationals or co-religionists or-Devil take me! In short, with a Jew. It happened in the regiment. We had a volunteer there. Cohn was the creature's name, a low... excuse me! This Cohn was a damned bow-legged fellow, as if created for the cavalry. It happened during the riding lesson. I made the swine jump the barriers. That is, I wanted to make them jump. They didn't want to, or couldn't. It was a bit high, that's true. Well, I cursed them as such God-forsaken swine deserved. I. could still swear in those days, Devil take me! I've forgotten since. ..I gave them to understand in cavalry oaths that they were a cowardly bunch of scamps. I went for Cohn in particular. 'You probably ride notes of exchange better,' I sneered. The blood rushed to the Jew's face. He took the jump, but fell and broke his arm. That worried me for a while. Why must such carrion have a sense of honor into the bargain?"

"Do you think a Jew should have no sense of honor?"

"Oh, I say! How you twist my words....Well, and if the Jews have a sense of honor, why do they put up with all the mischief?"

"What would you have the Jews do, Mr. Kingscourt?"

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