'Donald Trump has claimed he made a snap decision to officially recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, after receiving a “quick history lesson” on the Middle East.
The US president last month broke with decades of US policy and international agreement that had considered the piece of territory seized from Syria in 1967 “occupied”, to instead accept Israel’s claim.
The move was seen as both a nod to his conservative Christian supporters, as well as a boost to Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a tough reelection challenge. It sparked widespread criticism from around the world, not least from Arab nations in the region.
Speaking on Saturday in Las Vegas at the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group backed by GOP mega donor Sheldon Adelson, Mr Trump said he made the decision very quickly.
He said he did so after a discussion with his top advisors on the Middle East, including the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and his own son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
“I said, ‘Fellows, do me a favour. Give me a little history, quick. Want to go fast. I got a lot of things I’m working on: China, North Korea. Give me a quickie,” he said, according to Reuters.
He said he had then continued: “How do you like the idea of me recognising exactly what we’re discussing?”'
Read more: Trump says he made snap decision to recognise Golan Heights as Israel's after 'quick history lesson' on Middle East