- The Washington Times - Monday, March 21, 2016

In unnamed but direct swipes at GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday went after Mr. Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States, his policy on illegal immigration, and his past comments that he’d like to be a neutral arbiter in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

“In a democracy, we’re going to have differences,” Mrs. Clinton said at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, D.C. “But 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,” said Mrs. Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner.

“America should be better than this, and I believe it’s our responsibility as citizens to say so,” she said. “If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. If you see a bully, stand up to him.”

Mrs. Clinton also took an unnamed shot at Mr. Trump when she said that America can’t ever be “neutral” “when it comes to Israel’s security or survival.”

“Yes, we need steady hands,” she said. “Not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything’s negotiable.”

On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Mr. Trump said that “there is nobody more pro-Israel than I am.”

Asked last month in an MSNBC town hall where the fault lies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Mr. Trump said he didn’t want to go into it.

“If I do win, there has to be a certain amount of surprise, unpredictability — our country has no unpredictability,” he said then. “If I win, I don’t want to be in a position where I’m saying to you, and the other side now [says], ‘we don’t want Trump involved, we don’t want’ — let me be sort of a neutral guy, let’s see what — I’m going to give it a shot. It would be so great.”

Mr. Trump, as well as 2016 GOP rivals Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz, are scheduled to address the conference later Monday.

On Friday, Sen. Bernard Sanders, Mrs. Clinton’s Democratic opponent, sent a letter to AIPAC saying he would have enjoyed speaking at the conference but that he was campaigning out west, while saying that “issues impacting Israel and the Middle East are of the utmost importance to me, to our country and to the world.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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