(ABC News) — Hillary Clinton used a speech today on Israel and Palestine to slam her potential opponent in the general election, Donald Trump, accusing him of being unqualified to take on the challenges in the Middle East.
“We need steady hands. Not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who knows what on Wednesday because everything’s negotiable,” the Democratic presidential front-runner said during remarks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee gathering in Washington, D.C., referring to Trump’s recent comment that he is “neutral” on Israel and Palestine.
“America can’t ever be neutral when it comes to Israel’s security or survival. We can’t be neutral when rockets rain down on residential neighborhoods. When civilians are stabbed in the street, when suicide bombers target the innocent,” she continued.
“Some things aren’t negotiable,” she added, “And anyone who doesn’t understand that has no business being our president.”
Though Clinton did not mention Trump by name, her message was clear, and marks another escalation in Clinton’s shift towards the general election.
Later during her remarks — which came just hours before Trump’s scheduled appearance at the same gathering — she equated Trump’s rhetoric and behavior on the campaign trail to anti-Semitism facing many Israelis.
“Today Americans and Israelis face currents of intolerance and extremism that threaten the moral foundations of our societies,” Clinton said. “What Americans are hearing on the campaign trail this year is something else entirely. Encouraging violence, playing coy with white supremacists, calling for 12 million immigrants to be rounded up and deported. Demanding we turn away refugees because of their religion and proposing a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.”
“America should be better than this,” she added, “And I believe it’s our responsibility as citizens to say so. If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. If you see a bully, stand up to him.”