- Three major religions all descended from the same patriarch (Abraham / Ibrahim).
- A small piece of land.
- Limited fresh water supply.
- A history of genocide going back thousands of years.
- An equally long history of anti-Jewish hatred in historically Christian countries.
- A shorter but still long history of Islamophobia in historically Christian countries.
- A history of conquest and colonization going back hundreds of years.
- Neighbouring nation-states all governed by one flavour or another of authoritarian leaders, and mostly populated by overwhelming numbers of oppressed poor people.
- Islamist terrorism and anti-Semitism as a reaction against both authoritarian governments and the imposition of modern Western values.
- Nearly a century of Palestinians being dispossessed and oppressed by Israeli colonization.
- An impotent United Nations.
- Big-power rivals taking sides as they continue their rivalry by proxy and jockey for access to the region’s petroleum.
- Weapons manufacturers and arms dealers, making money.
- Stir until all ingredients are hopelessly mixed.
- Once set in motion (long ago), the mixture will continue to ferment and to spontaneously combust at irregular intervals.
- No further intervention is needed to continue the process. We are all in the soup.