Trump Tells AIPAC Jerusalem Is 'Eternal Capital of Jewish People'
- March, 22, 2016 - 12:55
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump in an address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) slammed incumbent President Barack Obama's treatment of Israel and the Palestinian 'culture of hatred'.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump exchanged jabs as they separately courted a massive crowd of pro-Israel lobbyists, putting their support for the Jewish regime front and center in their White House battle.
Democrat Clinton bashed her rival as prejudiced and insufficiently pro-Israel, signaling some of her likely points of attack should she face the Republican frontrunner in November's US presidential election.
Trump dismissed the former secretary of state as "a total disaster," and proclaimed his own "lifelong" love and support for America's pre-eminent ally in the Middle East.
"When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one," Trump told thousands of people attending a conference of Washington's most influential pro-Israel lobby.
Trump's appearance at the AIPAC gathering was a point of contention for some, including a number of rabbis who vowed to walk out in protest when he took the stage. But Trump's address was largely peaceful.
Clinton earlier packed the arena, where she implored the crowd: "If you see a bully, stand up to him."
"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 frontrunner told more than 15,000 attendees.
"My friends, Israel's security is non-negotiable," the AFP reported her as saying.
US presidential hopefuls routinely make pilgrimages to AIPAC during election years.
Republicans Ted Cruz and John Kasich also addressed the meeting while Clinton's challenger for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, declined citing a heavy campaign schedule.
Trump has raised eyebrows in the Jewish community in the past for stressing he wanted to be a neutral broker and not take "sides" between Israel and the Palestinians when it came to peace talks.
On Monday, he seemed to change tack.
"We will move the embassy (from Tel Aviv) to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem," he said to a standing ovation.
"And we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the state of Israel."
He also insisted that his "number one priority" would be to dismantle President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.