(photo credit: Courtesy)
After weeks of isolation, contestants on Israel's Big Brother, the popular reality show that pits a group of people against each other in a specially constructed house, were informed of the escalating situation with Hamas in Gaza.
As the security situation in Israel escalated, the housemates -- normally shielded from the outside world -- got a glimpse into the outer world when a siren sounded in Jerusalem, forcing the show's producers to tell the guests what was going on in the country.
When the siren went off, the house tenants were told to go to a safe room. The residents rushed to the closed room, some panicking, others trying to keep everyone calm; once it was safe to leave the room, the Big Brother announced over the speakers that in the past few days, things were getting worse with the Palestinians in Gaza.
"I want to go home. I want to go back to my kids," one resident said. "I'm scared."
"I need to know whats going on," another tenant panicked. As one resident began praying for safety, another said, "It's one thing if it's near the [Gaza] border, but in Jerusalem? That means there is a war going on throughout the entire country."
As the Big Brother instructed all to come into the living room, the speaker announced, "As you all know, when you enter the house you disconnect from the outside world. Living in a disconnected place is part of the experience of Big Brother." It continued, "the production works hard to preserve that disconnect; it does not convey any messages from outside or updates about what is going on -- unless the situation directly effects the residents or their families."
It told the housemates that in recent days, the security situation in Israel had become volatile and tense, that there was an escalation in the South that included mostly rockets to the communities near Gaza, but that it had spread to the greater Tel Aviv area and Jerusalem.
The announcement concluded, "if there is a rocket alarm, you will be asked to vacate to a safe room," assuring the tenants that the production is in contact with their families.