Your question indicates that you really want to know this, but a definitve answer, laced with adequate historical facts, cannot be given in the short time and space I have here (and I may not be totally correct anyhow -- each person has a different perspective). There are several books with the title, The History of the Middle East, one by Mansfield that is rather recent and another that is 'better', The Middle East, A History, Ochsenwald and Fisher,[It was first written as a college text in the 50s, 60s and has since had extensive editing and been reissued 5 times to keep up with history and reflect very recent archeological information and current events, etc.] Get these and study them extensively. Also, talk to some Moslems, some Jews, some Zoroastrians, some Druhz, some secular Jews and Arabs. Read the Quran and the Torah. Then you may draw your own conclusions. That said, I will interject my conclusion based upon serious study begun in the 60s. The area commonly called the Mid-East gave birth to a religion which represses the individual, was ravished and repressed by colonialism of the worst sort, divided geographically along borders convenient for those colonialists, and then abandoned to its fate. Until modern ethics and morality actually take root in the repressive Arab regimes remaining in the area, wars will prevail. If Israel (the only modern and true democracy in the area) were magically 'not there', there would still be brutal wars between the various tribal and ethnic groups, and/or sects within the Islamic community, and repressive fanaticism would run rampant throughout the area while children and women would be treated like chatel, the rich would live like the kings they proclaim to be in extreme providence, while the poor lanquish as they always have, barely surviving, slavelike, uneducated, and desparate. Then, when the oil resources run out, millions would require 'saving' by whatever is left of the Western world to keep them from dieing from desease and starvation. Whatever the 'start' was, the past is harsh and brutal; let's hope the future may be better.