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Birth of a Nation

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From its beginnings, modern Israel has had a demography problem, insofar as a state purporting to be both Jewish and democratic requires a Jewish majority, and Israel didn’t have one. In response, Israeli leaders have not only moved populations, they’ve also tackled the problem at its root, by aggressively promoting Jewish fertility. Oxford University doctoral candidate Rebecca Steinfeld is researching the history of these policies from 1948 to the present, exploring in particular whether they have discriminated against non-Jewish citizens. On Monday’s Vox Tablet, Steinfeld talks about her research with host Sara Ivry. Here’s a preview, in which she reviews one of the state’s earliest interventions: A “birth prize” of 100 lira, granted to any and all mothers on the birth of their tenth child:

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Birth of a Nation

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