Israeli TV Producer: Arad Video Clip Authentic But Not Helpful

A video clip of missing IAF navigator Ron Arad was broadcast on the LBC TV channel Monday night is authentic, but not helpful in locating the long-time captive, says an Israeli TV producer.

Contact Editor
Hana Levi Julian, | updated: 19:11

Arad is shown bearded in a promo trailer on the Lebanese Broadcast Corporation TV channel which promises to air a program next week that will be an “international coup”. The program, which is to air on Wednesday September 6th at 7:00 p.m., will allegedly feature a tape of Arad’s voice as well as footage of the missing airman.

The video clip was no surprise to Naftali Glicksberg, an Israeli television producer who was involved in producing the program which is to air on the Saudi-owned LBC Channel.

Glicksberg said in an interview on Army Radio Tuesday that he first saw the clip a year ago in Paris, but the Lebanese producers refused to provide more information on the source of the footage. He added that the program was to be aired four months ago, but LBC postponed the broadcast. “They said this wasn’t the right time,” said Glicksberg, adding “I wouldn’t be surprised if the release of the film was part of Lebanon’s strategic plan.”

The footage is authentic, he believes, because the speaker definitely looks like Arad, and because he is speaking Hebrew in the film. “This doesn’t just look like him. This is a soundtrack of an Israeli speaking. This sounds like Ron Arad. I believe this is indeed him.”

Nevertheless, said Glicksberg, none of the new material is helpful. The shooting location cannot be identified because Arad is photographed only close-up. Moreover, he said, the footage is obviously very old.

Arad disappeared over Lebanon in 1986 after a bombing raid in which a missile dropped from his plane exploded prematurely, damaging the aircraft. Both he and the pilot ejected from the plane. The pilot was later rescued by the IDF, but Arad had disappeared. He was kidnapped by the Shi’ite Amal terror organization, which held him captive for at least a year and a half while conducting negotiations with Israel for his release. The photo shown in the promo, said Glicksberg, is similar to that which was originally given to Israel during the negotiations almost 20 years ago.

Arad’s family said it appears that the footage does show the missing airman. Israeli officials have declined to comment and have not yet said whether the footage is authentic.