Israeli academic Jeff Halper has coined the phrase "the matrix of control" to describe the system of settlements, outposts, bypass roads, confiscated land masquerading as national parks, military zones, checkpoints and now hundreds of kilometres of a "separation wall" that together effectively entrap the Palestinian population in ghettoes across the West Bank and Gaza.
Halper's point is to explain how Israel uses non-military tools -- planning laws, architecture and geography -- as well as military hardware to herd Palestinians into the spaces it allocates them: the "Bantustan" homelands familiar from apartheid South Africa.
This article was published on 13 November in the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Weekly. Note the movie reference in the title.
This is an interesting choice of metaphor. It puts the Israelis in the role of the machines, but in so doing, it also puts the Palestinians in the role of the human rebels in a desperate struggle to defend Zion.
Matrix reloaded -- yet again