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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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"What would I have them do? Really, I don't know. Something like that Cohn in the Tiding school. I respected him more after that."

"Because he broke his arm?"

"No, because he showed that he had a will of his own....If I were in your place, I'd do something bold, something big, something that would make my enemies gape. Prejudices, my dear fellow, there will always be. The human pack nourishes itself on prejudices from the cradle to the grave. Well, then. Since prejudices cannot be wiped out, they must be overcome....The more I think of it, the more it seems to me that it must be quite interesting to be a Jew these days. Just because one has the whole world against him."

"Ah, but you don't know how that feels."

"Not pleasant, I can imagine....Now, how about that old Palestine? Shall we have a look at it before we vanish?" "As you please, Mr. Kingscourt."

The prow of the yacht was turned toward Jaffa.


Kingscourt and Friedrich spent several days in the old land of the Jews. Jaffa made a very unpleasant impression upon them. Though nobly situated on the blue Mediterranean, the town was in a state of extreme decay. Landing was difficult in the forsaken harbor. The alleys were dirty, neglected, full of vile odors. Everywhere misery in bright Oriental rags. Poor Turks, dirty Arabs, timid Jews lounged about-indolent, beggarly, hopeless. A peculiar, tomblike odor of mold caught one's breath.

They hurried away from Jaffa, and went up to Jerusalem on the miserable railway. The landscape through which they passed was a picture of desolation. The lowlands were mostly sand and swamp, the lean fields looked as if burnt over. The inhabitants of the blackish Arab villages looked like brigands. Naked children played in the dirty alleys. Over the distant horizon loomed the deforested hills of Judaea. The bare slopes and the bleak, rocky valleys showed few traces of present or former cultivation.

"If this is our land," remarked Friedrich sadly, "it has declined like our people."

"Yes, it's pretty bad," agreed Kingscourt. "But much could be done here with afforestation, if half a million young giant cedars were planted-they shoot up like asparagus. This country needs nothing but water and shade to have a very great future."

"And who is to bring water and shade here?"

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