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Rereading Herzl’s Old-New Land
It was published six years after Herzl's political pamphlet, Der Judenstaat The Jewish State and expanded on Herzl's vision for a Jewish return to the Land of Israel , which helped Altneuland become one of Zionism's establishing texts. Warsaw , ,  and into Hebrew by Nahum Sokolow as Tel Aviv also Warsaw, ,  a name then adopted for the newly founded city. Stopping in Jaffa on their way to the Pacific, they find Palestine a backward, destitute and sparsely populated land, as it appeared to Herzl on his visit in As they stop over in Palestine on their way back to Europe in , they are astonished to discover a land drastically transformed. A Jewish organization officially named the "New Society" has since risen as European Jews have rediscovered and re-inhabited their Altneuland , reclaiming their own destiny in the Land of Israel.
By , many thought it had: after two millennia of exile, the Jewish people had a homeland, in the land where its ancestors had lived. Herzl had made the mistake that many Zionists have made, or chosen to make, after him. A century ago, Palestine, part of the Turkish empire, was indeed thinly populated. But people there were, and most were not Jews. In Herzl's dream, the existing Arabs welcomed the vigorous newcomers whom he imagined settling there in the s, and the new society they created. Even before that decade, in the real world, was over, he was to be proved bloodily wrong. His mistake was less obvious in than it looks now.
Texts Concerning Zionism: "Altneuland"
Theodor Herzl is best known for having revived Zionism at the turn of the century. However, his political occupation was mainly sustained by his activities as a writer. What Impressionists had already preluded in the second half of the 19 th century by devoting themselves to a subjective depiction of reality, thus breaking with traditional formal parameters, was to become one of the main characteristics of modern art and literature. This stylistic liberation came along with technological, economic, political and social changes that provoked incertitude as to future living and identity. Hermann Bahr was to play an important role as intermediary, introducing French literature to Vienna, which is where he returned to in , following a one-year stay in Paris. In Vienna — the administrative and cultural center of the multiethnic Habsburg state — social tensions increased threateningly around The continuous influx of migrants, further incorporations of municipalities and insolvable problems of language and nationality established an atmosphere fraught with conflict.
Herzl’s ‘Altneuland’ can be used as a mirror to judge our society today
Sunk in deep melancholy, Dr. Friedrich Loewenberg sat at a round marble table in his cafe on the Alsergrund. It was one of the most charming of Viennese cafes. Ever since his student days he had been coming there, appearing every afternoon at five o'clock with bureaucratic punctuality. The sickly, pale waiter greeted him submissively, and he would bow with formality to the equally pale girl cashier to whom he never spoke.