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Stock’s Israel vacation gets very real, fast


Talk-show host Alan Stock flew to Israel on the Fourth of July for a two-week working vacation. Some vacation.

Four days into the trip with his wife, Rhoda, they were in Jerusalem when a siren got their attention.

“I was watching international news on TV in the seventh story apartment we rented on Ben Yehuda Street,” Stock said. “I thought it was just a police vehicle or ambulance, but when I opened our balcony door, the entire city was alive with sirens blaring.”

It was the first of 2,000 Palestinian rockets that rained on Israel during their trip that ended Friday.

“The first night there were three explosions,” said Stock, who today returns to his 6-9 a.m. show at KDWN-AM, 720.

Two rockets were intercepted by the Israelis’ “Iron Dome” defense system. The third landed in the desert.

They heard warning sirens four or five times while in Jerusalem, said Stock, a Las Vegas talk-show host since 1999.

“We spent our last two nights in Tel Aviv. We heard rockets explode without the sirens because they (Israeli military) knew they were going to land in the sea or desert.”

When the rocket barrages by Palestinian militants intensified, the Stocks’ frantic daughters, Alethea and Serena, back in Las Vegas, were begging their parents to cut short their trip.

“I would be on a plane back today if I could,” said Stock, because it was “one of the most eye-opening events in my life.”

“I’m going to give people the truth,” he said.

“Hamas is putting rockets in schools and homes. Israel is using weapons to defend its citizens, and Hamas is using citizens (as human shields) to defend their weapons.

“Israel is letting people (in targeted areas) know what’s going on” to minimize collateral damage, he said. “They drop leaflets first, and even call people up in their homes and tell them to leave. They drop a teeny bomb that shakes (buildings). They do this before they drop the big bomb.”

Stock has invited Aslam Abdullah, the director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, on the show to offer perspective from both sides.

His trip was not sponsored.

“I paid for the whole thing,” Stock said.

AGASSI, SANDOVAL BREAK BREAD

Andre Agassi got political — for all of a couple seconds — when he served as keynote speaker at a major fundraiser for the University of Nevada, Reno’s athletic programs on Friday at the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City.

Agassi, who had been sitting with Gov. Brian Sandoval before going to the podium, asked, “Am I too late to declare my candidacy for governor?”

Instead of delivering a traditional keynote speech, Agassi took questions in a Q-and-A format at the $300-a-plate event.

He shared a hair-raising experience with them, his first grand slam final.

Agassi, who was 19 at the time, was facing Ecuador’s Andres Gomez in the 1990 French Open finals.

Two weeks earlier, Agassi had beaten Gomez, who was 30.

The night before the finals, Agassi was in a panic.

During a shower, his super-secret hairpiece started coming apart.

He borrowed bobby pins from his sister, Rita, to keep the hairpiece in place, but his jangled nerves were another matter and he lost.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Tickets are going on sale Thursday morning for the inaugural Wine Amplified Festival on Oct. 10-11 on the Strip. The entertainment lineup is impressive: Train, Blink-182, Michael Franti, Violent Femmes, Better Than Ezra, Magic!, of Verona and The Mowglis. It will be in the MGM Festival lot. For more information, email info@rocknrollwine.com. ...

Correction: I misspelled Angelo Cassaro’s last name in Sunday’s column about the Italian American Social Club.

SIGHTINGS

Shania Twain, with a series of cameras shooting her show at Caesars Palace on Tuesday, reportedly for a TV special and DVD release before Christmas. She announced on Monday she was ending her two-year run in December. ... Film great Gloria DeHaven, celebrating her 89th birthday Tuesday at Dom DeMarco Pizzeria with family. She recently moved to Las Vegas. ... Twain, dining with Fred Schneider of the B-52s and Luxor headliner Carrot Top on Saturday at Spago (Forum Shops at Caesars). … The cast of Lifetime’s “Dance Moms,” backstage peppering the Jabbawockeez cast with questions after taking in the show on Friday at Luxor. The “Dance Moms” cast members included Maddie Ziegler, Melissa Gisoni, Mackenzie Ziegler, Nia Frazier and Kendall Vertes. Also at the show: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White.

THE PUNCH LINE

“ ‘Star Wars’ fans are very upset that the story line of the upcoming new ‘Star Wars’ movie has been leaked. Apparently the movie starts with R2-D2, Chewbacca, and Han Solo all waking up in Vegas.” — Conan O’Brien

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.