The Israelis were primarily interested in getting two things out of Pollard: information about Pakistan’s nuclear program and information relating to Soviet upgrades to the conventional arsenals of the Arab states (with a particular focus on Syria). Pollard also provided details of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s compounds in Tunis, Tunisia, which the Israelis used during a 1985 raid.
The damage assessment notes that Israel was particularly keen on obtaining an NSA handbook needed to decrypt intercepted communications between Moscow and a Soviet military-assistance unit in Damascus, Syria. Pollard attempted emergency communications with his Israeli handlers on just two occasions: once to provide intelligence on an impending truck-bomb attack and another time to warn that the Soviet T-72M main battle tank had entered service with Hafez Assad’s Syrian military.
Israel was eager for information on Soviet weapons systems that would likely be passed to the Arab states, and wanted information on armaments Israel would face if the conflict with the Arab states ever escalated into a hot war.
Today, there’s little conventional military threat to Israel’s existence, the Soviet Union is defunct, and Syria is no longer a unitary state.
But at one point, Israel was willing to jeopardize its relationship with the US to gain an advantage in all of these areas. ∞∞∞∞∞ SEE MORE ∞∞∞∞∞