While commenting on a blog a few months ago another person, noticing my name "westbankmama" felt the need to slam the settlers, and came up with an interesting analysis. He said that there are two types - those who decided to live in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza strip because of "idealogical reasons" and those who decided because of "practical reasons" (cheaper homes). According to this commenter, the "idealogical" settlers were crazy and the "practical" settlers were ok - after all, who can blame someone for wanting to buy a cheaper home?
While rushing to brand us all religious fanatics, this person must have tripped over the inconvenient fact that 60% of those living in what people call the west bank do not, in fact, call themselves religious. This apparantly caused him to have to invent a new stereotype.
I didn't have the patience to reply to him, but the question his opinion posed has been sitting in the back of my mind for a while. Did he have a point? What are my motivations for living here?
Did I choose to live in the Shomron (Samaria) because I believe that G-d gave the Jews this land and, after our people have spent thousands of years wandering the world, I am unabashadly thrilled to have the opportunity to actually make my home here?
Did I choose to live where I do because I think that I am helping Israel hold on to areas crucial to its security?
Did I choose to live in a yishuv (settlement) because I wanted to raise my kids in a warm, supportive environment, especially in light of the fact that for a number of years I had no extended family here?
Did I choose to live here because I could afford to buy a private home, and not just a small apartment?
Well, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
We are complex human beings who make decisions based on a whole range of factors. Sometimes ideological reasons are in the forefront, sometimes practical ones - and in most cases it is a rather jumbled mess.
The person on the other blog took a somewhat juvenile potshot - but I'm afraid that we all succumb to this immature thinking at least once in a while, and indulge in the "label wars".
I, for one, will try to remember that human beings are too big to fit into pigeonholes.