The Matrix of Control – An Introduction

Israel’s “Matrix of Control” is a maze of laws, military orders, planning procedures, limitations on movement, kafkaesque bureaucracy, settlements and infrastructure – augmented by prolonged and ceaseless low-intensity warfare – that serves to perpetuate the Occupation, to administer it with a minimum of military presence and, ultimately, to conceal it behind massive Israeli “facts on the ground” and a bland façade of “proper administration.” The Matrix resembles the East Asian game of “Go.” Unlike chess, where two opponents try to defeat each other by eliminating one another’s pieces, the aim of Go is to win by immobilizing your opponent, by controlling key points on the matrix. This strategy was used effectively in Vietnam, where small forces of Viet Cong were able to pin down and virtually paralyze a half-million American troops possessing overwhelming superior fire-power. Israel’s Matrix of Control accomplishes the same with the Palestinians. Maintaining the image of a democratic country only trying to defend its citizens from Arab terror, Israel uses seemingly innocuous and even benevolent policies and procedures to create a matrix of control and repression intended to lower the Occupation’s military profile.