U.S. President Donald Trump told an Israeli newspaper that his Dec. 6 declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was the high point so far of his time in office.
In the Hebrew-language translation of an excerpt from Trump’s interview with Israel Hayom editor-in-chief Boaz Bismuth, Trump said that both Israel and the Palestinians would need to compromise significantly to achieve peace. Trump was replying to a question on whether Israel would have to give something in return for the declaration.
Calling the city “your wonderful capital,” he added that its recognition as Israel’s capital was very important for many people whom Trump said thanked him. Trump described the move as an important promise he made and kept.
The president also said he understands why previous presidents who said they would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital ended up not doing it. He cited “enormous pressure” through intensive lobbying by those who opposed the move.
Bismuth asked Trump what he meant when he said last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that with the declaration “we took Jerusalem off the table.”
Trump responded that he meant to say that the declaration clarified that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, but when it comes to specific borders he would support the ones agreed upon by both parties.
The full interview is scheduled to be published Sunday.
Israel Hayom, a free newspaper with the largest circulation in Israel, is owned by U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a major giver to the Republican Party and Israel activist.