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The New Altneuland

A Book By Ehud Tokatly


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In 1902, Dr. Theodor Herzl, the visionary Zionist leader, published his famous utopia Altneuland (Old-New Land). A century later, an Israeli writer presents a loose adaptation with a powerful theme, titled The New Altneuland, published in Hebrew in 2002.

The story and characters are very similar to Herzl's original, but the new book presents several intriguing proposals for Israel's future. Its main purpose is to trigger a public discussion of some creative innovations that may renew Israel's sense of hope for the century-old Zionist endeavor.

The Plot

Astronaut Freddie Lewis resigns from NASA and joins Professor Kerensky, an eccentric Russian scientist on a voyage into space with slim chances of ever returning to Earth. On their way to the launch site in Russia, Kerensky and Freddie stop over in Israel, to pick up the computerized flight controls. Freddie Lewis has mixed feelings about his first encounter with his Jewish homeland.

Many years later, Freddie and Kerensky return from their long journey and land in Israel's Negev Desert. Their Israeli host, David Yinnon, invites them to tour the country. They are amazed at the many positive changes in Israel's reality. The main change is social, cultural and political: The new socio-political system in Israel, the Community Democracy, is at the heart of New Zionism.

The book offers new ways to meet the challenges facing Israel in the 21st Century. As such, it is also a guide for the troubled Middle East and may hold the seeds for original socio-political design discussions and solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Read the book on-line (in Hebrew)

About the Community Democracy

About Ehud Tokatly and more of his articles

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