At the beginning of his superb essay on Ahad Ha’am, Hillel Halkin cites his protagonist’s savage takedown of Altneuland, a futuristic 1902 novel by Theodor Herzl—by, that is to say, Ahad Ha’am’s successful rival for leadership of the Zionist movement. The novel imagines the marvels a traveler would find upon visiting a utopian Jewish-state-to-be. Halkin characterizes Ahad Ha’am’s “caustic” treatment of Altneuland as “the most contentious Jewish book review of the century.”
What Would Ahad Ha'am Think about Israel Today?
He would likely share more with young men sporting knitted kippot and young women in long skirts than with any other sizable group on the Israeli scene.