Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia
"We could if you cared to," shouted Kingscourt to Friedrich, who promptly assented.
The next day they went up to the Mount of Olives with Eichenstamm and Sascha. On the way they passed the elegant residence of an English lady.
"You see," said the Russian, "that new mansions can be erected on our ancient soil. Very good idea to live up here. My own dream too."
"Or at least to have an eye clinic," smiled Dr. Sascha.
From the top of the mountain they admired the view of the hilly city and of the wide circle of mountains that flowed down in stony waves to the Dead Sea.
Friedrich grew thoughtful. "Jerusalem must have been beautiful," he said. "Perhaps that is why our ancestors could never forget it, and always wanted to return."
"It reminds me of Rome," cried Eichenstamm. "A splendid city, a metropolis, could be erected upon these hills once more. What a view from here! Grander than that from the Gianiculo. Ah, if my old eyes might still see it. ..."
"We shall not live to see it," said Sascha wistfully.
Kingscourt marveled silently as he listened to their fantastic notions. When they were alone again, he said to Friedrich, "A remarkable pair, that doctor-father and the doctor-daughter. So practical and yet so foolish. I always imagined the Jews quite different."
The next morning Kingscourt and Friedrich said farewell to the Eichenstamms and drove out to the colonies. They looked at Rishon-le-Zion, Rehobot, and other villages that lay like oases in the desolate countryside. Many industrious hands must have worked here to restore fertility to the soil, they realized, as they gazed upon well-cultivated fields, stately vineyards and luxuriant orange groves.
"All this has come into being during the last ten or fifteen years," explained the head of the village council of Rehobot, to whom Eichenstamm had referred them. "The colonization movement began after the persecutions in Russia in the early 1880's. But, there are villages more remarkable than ours. There's Katrah, for instance, founded by university students who forsook their books for the plow. Such peasants are to be found nowhere else in the world-cultured men working in the fields."
"That's a strong card!" cried Kingscourt. Still greater was their surprise when the village president called on the young men of Rehobot to mount their horses. A sort of Arab fantasy was performed in honor of the visitors. The youngsters galloped far off into the fields, threw their steeds about, and rushed back again shouting, throwing guns and caps into the air mid-career and catching them again. Finally, they rode home in single file singing a Hebrew song.
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