It goes back to the fall of the Ottoman empire. From the Brittannica on-line:
Entente proposals for the partition of Ottoman territories were formulated in a number of wartime agreements. By the Istanbul Agreements (March-April 1915) Russia was promised Istanbul and the Straits; France was to receive a sphere of influence in Syria and Cilicia . Britain had already annexed Cyprus and declared a protectorate over Egypt . By the Anglo-French Sykes-Picot Agreement (Jan. 3, 1916) the French sphere was confirmed and extended eastward to Mosul in Iraq. A British sphere of influence in Mesopotamia extended as far north as Baghdad, and Britain was given control of Haifa and `Akko and of territory linking the Mesopotamian and Haifa-`Akko spheres. Palestine was to be placed under an international regime. In compensation, the Russian gains were extended (April-May 1916) to include the Ottoman provinces of Trabzon, Erzurum, Van, and Bitlis in eastern Asia Minor. By the London Agreement (April 26, 1915) Italy was promised the Dodecanese and a possible share of Asia Minor. By the Agreement of St.-Jean-de-Maurienne (April 1917) Italy was promised a large area of southwestern Anatolia, including Izmir and an additional sphere to the north. Britain made various promises of independence to Arab leaders, notably in the Husayn-MacMahon correspondence (1915-16), and in the Balfour Declaration (Nov. 2, 1917) promised to support the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.--linkBetween World War I and World War II, most borders in the region were drawn by the West and Russia, and all were drawn under Western and Russian influence. Thereafter the politics of the region was shaped by the Cold War, which was plenty hot in the Middle East, and the oil industry. I don't know much of the Cold War history, but generally the West and especially the USA allied itself with Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States, while the Soviets allied themselves with Egypt and Syria. The Iraqi and Afghan governments changed and changed again as the US and the Soviets played their global chess game. Some Middle Eastern states (notably Saudi Arabia) were able to play the two superpowers against each other, parlaying their oil into real wealth, but there never was any doubt that all successes ultimately were the result of persuading foreign powers--none of the major states in the area had power independent of the superpowers.
So since the fall of the Ottoman empire to the Triple Entente (Britain, France, and Russia), Middle Eastern history has been shaped by the West, the Russians, and the Soviet Union. The Palestinians in particular were uprooted by the Israelis and ended up on the losing side of the Cold War.
It is completely consistent with this that many Middle Easterners have decided that peaceful methods will win them nothing and are willing to send young men and women to bitter deaths.
A few dates from Middle Eastern history:
- The dismemberment and colonialization of the Ottoman territories as a result of the Ottoman loss in World War I.
- Britain and France declared their intention of establishing in Syria and Iraq "national governments drawing their authority from the initiative and free choice of the native populations."
- Faysal elected king of Syria. Expelled by the French, who set up a mandate, promising to grant independence. This was not done and there were multiple revolutions in the interwar period, all put down by the French.
- The Turks, led by Mustafa Kemal (later Kemal Ataturk) successfully rebel, founding modern Turkey.
- Last opponents of Ibn Sa'ud captured by British and returned to Sa'ud.
- Modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia founded.
- Arabian Standard Oil Company (US owned) begins shipping oil from Saudi Arabia
- Vichy government takes control of Syria.
- British, British Commonwealth, and French resistance successfully invade Syria. French promise Syrian independence again.
- Arabian Standard Oil Company renamed Aramco. Many US employees arrive.
- French refuse to leave Syria, bombard Damascus. British intervene.
- After a UN agreement, the British and the French leave Syria. Kuwait Oil Company (British and US ownership) begins production.