[EXCERPT] US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he made the controversial decision to recognise Israel’s 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights after getting a quick history lesson during a conversation on a different subject, reported Reuters.
Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition gathering in Las Vegas, Trump said he made the snap decision during a discussion with his top Middle East peace advisers, including the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“I said, ‘Fellows, do me a favor. 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,” Trump said to laughter from the Las Vegas crowd.
“‘How do you like the idea of me recognising exactly what we’re discussing?’” said Trump, recounting the conversation.
Trump, who typically demands short sharp briefings and is known for his colorful retelling of stories, said Friedman was shocked, “like a wonderful, beautiful baby,” and asked the President if he would actually do it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Trump last month. At their March 25 meeting, Trump signed a proclamation officially granting US recognition of the Golan as Israeli territory, a dramatic departure from decades of US policy. The move, which Trump announced in a tweet days prior, was widely seen as an attempt to boost Netanyahu who is up for re-election on April 9. . .