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Altneuland- Theodor Herzl's Zionist Utopia

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"I was urging at this time the formation of the first railway companies. The wretched little Jaffa-Jerusalem line would of course be wholly inadequate for the coming needs. First of all, we made sure of a coast-line railway southward from Jaffa to Port Said and northward to Beirut, via Caesarea, Haifa, Tyre and Sidon, with a junction at Damascus.s After that came the new line to Jerusalem; the Jordan Valley trunk line with spurs to the east and one to the west to Lake Kinneret; the Lebanon lines. The capital for the railways was raised by Leonkin in Russia and by Warszawski in America. I had my troubles with the board of directors over the interest guarantees. They thought me- insanely bold to be willing to guarantee profits from such railways. But I forced my ideas through, and the event justified me. .It took me five years to secure approval for one line after the other. All that is an old story now, and the railways have been taken over by the New Society.

"After transportation problems, I occupied myself chiefly with the question of draught animals-one of my tasks being to found a very large agricultural settlement. We not only had to find our cattle, but to transport them to Palestine and to feed them. I had many conferences about it with Brownstone, within whose department the matter came. I was not altogether satisfied with his proposals. The idea of buying thousands of heads of cattle in the Danubian countries and transporting them slowly over land and sea gave me much anxiety. Brownstone was urging that it was high time to act, but I could not make up my mind. I should have preferred to bring in the cattle from Egypt. But there were objections to that scheme as well.

"It was impossible for me, during those first weeks, to leave London. Once, though, I did manage to run over to Germany to look at a new electric plow. It was just what we needed. The electric plow is one of the greatest inventions of the nineteenth century. In its present form, it is much more practical to be sure; but I thought it excellent even then. I bought up the factory's entire stock at once, and ordered all they could promise to deliver by February.. I also telegraphed Warszawski in New York: 'Buy as many electric plows as possible by February.' He replied: 'Shall see.' Returning to London, I found a second telegram: 'Three hundred electric plows middle February Jaffa.

"These electric plows relieved me of various cares. My first meeting with Brownstone after I came back from Germany was funny. As I spied him, I shouted exuberantly, 'My dear fellow! You've become superfluous! We don't need any more oxen!' I can still see his dumbfounded, insulted expression. And I didn't even realize how droll it sounded until the bystanders laughed. I begged his pardon and explained. He cheered. So did everyone else. But our friend Brownstone had by no means become superfluous. Even though he was expected to provide fewer draught oxen, there was plenty of work left for him to do. We still had to find large numbers of horses, milch cows, sheep, poultry, and feed for the whole menagerie. This happened soon after Brownstone returned from Roumania. I sent him also to Holland, Switzerland and Hungary to buy cattle.

"Instead of fodder for oxen, we had to buy coal for our plows. That was Rubenz's affair. Asiatic coal was not so easily obtainable in those days as now. He wired an order for coal to England, and the matter was arranged within twenty-four hours. It was one of those happy moments in which one sees civilization making strides forward....We did not yet have water power from the Dead Sea Canal. Nowadays we do not need English coal for plowing the soil of Palestine. We have wires which carry electric power from the Jordan falls, the Dead Sea Canal, and the brooks of the Hermon and the Lebanon to plows in all parts of the country. Instead of coal, we have water.

"Such, in outline, were my first measu..."

The Professor noisily asked permission to speak. David halted the machine.

"There's something I want to say at this point," he said. "It's rather in the nature of a literary remark, so don't take it amiss. Do you know what that invisible Joe of ours is describing? I'll tell you. The new Had Gadyal Understand?"

Kingscourt naturally did not understand. They told him that "Had Gadyal Had Gadyal" ("One Kidl One Kidl") was a serio-comic legend in the book of the Seder service. The cat ate the kid, the dog mangled the cat, the stick beat the dog, the fire consumed the stick, the water extinguished the fire, the ox drank the water, the slaughterer killed the ox, the Angel of Death carried off the slaughterer, while above all was God, Who reigns all the way from the Angel of Death to "One Kid! One Kid!"

"That's how," added the Professor, "the story of the New Society runs. The ox is replaced by the coal, and the coal by the water. ..."

Whereupon the elder Littwak said, "And above all is God!"


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