A dispute over land is at the heart of the decades-long dispute between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
In 1917, Great Britain issued the Balfour Declaration. This was a British pledge of support for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire the following year, Britain took over Palestine under a League of Nations' mandate. The Balfour Declaration stimulated Jewish immigration to Palestine. Concerned that the settlement of too many Jews might destabilize the region, Britain tried to limit the influx to 10,000 per year in 1939.
The Holocaust during World War II resulted in the loss of six million Jews. The slaughter of so many innocent people greatly enhanced international support for the creation of Israel. In 1947, the United Nations decided to divide Palestine into Palestinian and Jewish states.
As soon as Israel was created in 1948, war broke out with its neighbors. Israel won the war and expelled thousands of Palestinians from their homes. Numerous other wars have since been fought between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
The Arab Spring, not related to the conflict with Israel, was a movement against dictatorship in several Arab nations in 2010–2011. Dictators were overthrown in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. But the Arab Spring did not affect Saudi Arabia and a number of other authoritarian countries. The Arab Spring was largely a failure: only Tunisia emerged as a democracy from it.