Robby Berman

One Million Shekels

Money motivates people. Period. Full stop.

With over 200 hostages in Gaza everything should be done to save them. We should put pressure on the Red Cross, put pressure on the countries that have their citizens hostage in Gaza, and Israel should offer two Hamas prisoners in an Israeli jail for every one hostage returned alive and offer one Hamas prisoner for every dead hostage returned.

I was trying to see how I could help so at the beginning of the war I called a few people in London, NY and Toronto and I received more than 3 million dollars in pledges to help save the hostages in Gaza.

We are offering one million shekel ($250,000) to any Palestinian in Gaza who helps save the hostages. This help can take many forms such as sending us coordinates of where they are being held or giving succor to any hostage that is fleeing his kidnappers and protecting him or her until the Israeli ground forces arrive.

Lest you think money doesn’t motivate people such as Hamas, one of the captured Hamas terrorists confessed that Hamas offered them $10,000 and an apartment in Gaza to anyone who joined the attack on Israel on October 7th. According to Israeli intelligence estimates about 30 hostages are being held by freelancers, meaning people who are not hard-core Hamas members. They are not ideologues; they are more akin to the riffraff who joined the People’s Crusade of 1096 who were having such much fun raping and pillaging they forgot to make their way to Jerusalem.

I have been pushing my initiative on social media on Arabic platforms and for the first time in my life I’m including hashtags I have never used before such as #freepalestine and #freegaza in the hope that the people of Gaza will see it.  The information that comes into the phone number and email ( that I broadcast does not come to me but rather to the appropriate professionals in the establishment who communicate with them and analyze the incoming information.

About a week after my proposal was made public, the IDF began to drop leaflets over Gaza saying they are offering a financial reward for information that will help save the captives. But they didn’t state an amount. In my opinion, this is a mistake. State an amount and motivate people. What do we have to lose? I would much rather give money to free a hostage than free a Hamas terrorist with blood on his hands.

About the Author
Robby Berman is a tour guide and journalist living in Israel for more than 30 years. He is a graduate of Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government, MPA), Baruch College (MBA) and Yeshiva University (BA). He is also the author of the book Min Taq Taq: A Collection of Arabic Idioms and Expressions in the Palestinian Dialect.
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