The Middle East is a region in which war or the threat of war has become commonplace. It is also a region riven with animosity - most obviously that which divides Israel from its Arab neighbours. These characteristics have survived the end of the Cold War and thus there is a good deal of continuity apparent in regional foreign policies. The history of the modern Middle East began in the late nineteenth century, but became recognisable in its current form in the wake of the rise of the territorial state across the regional system in the twentieth century. The Middle East states' relations with each other, as well as those with the rest of the world, were shaped by six sets of forces: nationalism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, war, oil, political Islam, and the influence of external powers. Like the Middle East's other nationalisms, Zionism was also a secular ideology, aspiring towards the creation of a modern and Western-style state.