Israeli major: Brian Williams’ reporting of Lebanon war helicopter ride ‘accurate’

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli army officer who was on a helicopter with NBC news anchor Brian Williams during the Second Lebanon War said his reporting “was representative of the experience.”

“The general descriptions Williams gave were accurate,” Jacob Dallal, a reserve major in the army’s media liaison office, told Bloomberg in a phone interview Monday.

Williams, who the Washington Post reported has given several different versions of the 2006 flight, announced over the weekend that he would take a break from anchoring “NBC Nightly News” after admitting that he was not on a helicopter that was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq in 2003. His accounts of incidents elsewhere also are being called into question.

In a 2007 interview, Williams said of his helicopter ride over northern Israel during the war between Israel and Hezbollah that there were “rockets passing just beneath the helicopter I was riding in.”

“There was Katyusha rocket fire during the helicopter flight, the pilots showed where the Katyusha had just landed, and you could see the big clouds of dust where they landed,” Dallal told Bloomberg.

Dallal added that the helicopter was not in danger and that the “trajectory of the rockets was beneath us.”