The LRC Blog 
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Check out this CaspianReport  video on the Origins of the Israel/Palestinian Conflict:
The Israeli/Arab conflict is the result of interactions of superpowers in the early 20th century. British and French strategic interests in the Middle East were related to the Mediterranean trading route, which went from the Suez Canal to Indian markets. But the presence of the Ottoman navy based in the Levant was a direct threat to British interests. So the British and the French decided to divide the Middle East into smaller entities and countries to make it impossible for the Ottoman Empire to control them all. A century later, the legacy of European colonization of the Arab world is reflected by its many ongoing conflicts.
An excellent follow-up book on this topic is A Peace to End All Peace, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East , by David Fromkin.