Even before Israel's creation, its leaders were obssessed with demography and winning a zero-sum numerical war of attrition with the Palestinians. The consequences are still playing out to this day.
Last week, ahead of the Gaza protests, the Israeli army made an unexpected admission. It told parliamentarians that for the first time Jews are outnumbered by Palestinians living under Israeli rule, both inside Israel as citizens and in the territories under occupation.
It was a moment whose significance was not lost on Israeli legislators. Many were appalled, refusing to accept the army's assessment that there are now half a million more Palestinians than Jews between the Mediterranean Sea and the river Jordan.