Scene One: The Shell

The press waits around. And waits. And waits.

They are bored. They have been standing in front of the hospital in Be'er Sheva for days now, trying to get glimpses of the injured soldiers. So far, with very little success.

Suddenly, everyone looks up. A military ambulance is coming. The press bustles around, excited. The video cameras are turned on. The men talk. The cameras start whirring. And everyone crowds towards the ambulance as it pulls in.

The door opens. The cameras click and flash away. People with microphones run up to the soldiers and start screaming questions at them.

The soldiers, lightly injured and thus able to move quickly, evade the journalists, but can't help grinning at the ridiculous circus that surrounds them.

The disheartened press looks around. "Is there another one?" they ask. They wait some more, staring at the ambulance. They try to peek inside.

Finally, they accept no one is coming, and start moving away.

"That's what all the excitement was for?" a journalist mutters to herself.

Scene Two: Peeling Away

A soldier stands in the waiting area. One arm is in a cast. The other is wrapped in tefillin. He smiles as the people around him gather around and congratulate him. He goes to the window and starts praying. In an effort to help him feel less isolated, everyone gathers around and prays the afternoon prayers beside him. His mouth curls into a smile.

Zoom out from this image and you can see the press that has somehow managed to gain access to this area of the hospital. They try to be respectful, but cannot help snapping some photographs and recording some video.

This is an old fashioned Israeli "balagan." Outside of the quarters of all the lightly injured soldiers, stand the press, people that are simply curious, and do gooders wishing to drop off some presents for the injured soldiers. The parents huddle in a smaller waiting room, away from the chaos.

The elevator door opens and the entire cast focuses on the bed inside, carrying an unconscious soldier. Everyone takes a step back, but can't but look on curiously.

A flash goes off.

The nurse pushing the bed snaps her head around, trying to find the culprit. "Mah atah oseh?!" "What are you doing?" She asks that whoever-it-was show some respect. A man in the corner hides his camera behind his back.

The circus seems to be on tour.

Scene Three: A Real Taste

Inside another waiting room, hidden away from the rest of the hospital, sit the families of the critically wounded soldiers. Some seem to be able to handle it better than others. They sit and try to act relaxed, but despite their best efforts, the tension in the room is palpable.

There are others that are making no effort to relax, and instead sit quietly holding each other close. Their eyes are red and dry at the same time, as if they've run out of tears. Now, they just seem to be waiting. But they are not bored, like the press outside. Their bodies rock back and forth, their hands scratch their legs. They are nervous and scared, and they are not allowed to see their own children right now.

A female soldier walks in and gives one family a medal. Not an official one, just some sort of present that her brigade is giving to families as presents. She talks officially about why she is there, how special the family's son is. The parents look on in gratitude, smiling and thanking her. It is obvious that for a moment she has helped bring them away from their thoughts, and their gratitude is genuine.

Try to zoom out and you will find nowhere to go. Here, suffering is bad. It does not equal profits or ratings. It equals broken homes, broken hearts and despair. Here, the reality of the war is real. Here, politics do not tread. Only truth.

We live in a world that wants us to run from home and to the circus. A world where reality becomes entertainment and war a game. Perhaps one day we will realize there is nowhere to run to.