This volume brings together Gilbert Achcar's major writings on these issues over the past decades. The essays collected in The Eastern Cauldron describe and explain the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism, the fate of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and its aftermath, and above all the Palestinian conflict-in which the regional stakes are so dramatically embodied and contested. Achcar analyzes the social bases, strategies and tactics of PLO, Hizbollah, Israel and the United States from the establishment of the state of Israel to the second Intifada. He pinpoints the contradictions of the Israeli state-seeking at the same time to be Jewish and yet democratic-and the impact of these contradictions on all parties to the conflict. Eastern Cauldron is primarily aimed at producing a better understanding of the conflicts of the region. Achcar's work is informed by strong moral and political commitments but is never limited to polemic.