hillary clinton usa.jpg
Photograph: EPA/TANNEN MAURY

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said the US can never be neutral in its support of Israel and blasted Republican candidate Donald Trump for his shifting foreign policy positions in a speech to a US pro-Israel group on Monday.

"America can't ever be neutral when it comes to Israel's security or survival," Clinton said at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) annual conference in Washington.

"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. Some things aren't negotiable."

She took clear aim at Trump's shifting policy positions after he claimed to be "neutral" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict before changing course and pledging support for Israel.

"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," Clinton said.

In another swipe at Trump, who is the front-runner in the ongoing state-by-state process to chose the Republican presidential candidate in November elections, Clinton denounced his encouragement of violence at campaign rallies, his failure to clearly denounce white supremacist groups, and his calls to turn away Muslims from the US.

She likened the failure to act to those who did nothing to stop the Holocaust.

"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."

Trump is to address the AIPAC conference later Monday and a group of rabbis plans to leave the room in protest. Fellow Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and John Kasich will also give speeches to the group.

Related stories

Clinton blasts Trump as "unfit" to be president

Trump: Clinton is "a world-class liar"

Latest news

Two charged for racially insulting actor Jamie Foxx in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik police will bring misdemeanour charges against two men for disturbing the peace on Sunday night in a local restaurant when they racially insulted African American actor Jamie Foxx, who is currently in Dubrovnik filming "Robin Hood: Origins".

Opposition youth leader arrested in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean police on Monday arrested an opposition youth leader on charges of inciting public violence against the government of President Robert Mugabe, the youth leader’s lawyer said.

Turkey dismisses 227 judges and prosecutors

Turkey's top judicial body on Monday dismissed 227 judges and prosecutors who are accused of having links to a cleric blamed for last year's coup attempt, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Germany vows to do all it can to free journalist detained in Turkey

The German Foreign Ministry on Monday hailed German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel as a symbol of free speech as it vowed to treat his case with the "utmost importance" in order to secure his release.

Minister: State of education system not disastrous, Croatia leads in some indicators

Croatian Science and Education Minister Pavo Barisic has opposed assessments that the situation in the education system is disastrous, underlining that according to some indicators, Croatia is among the best European countries, as evidenced by the fact that as many as 97% of teachers attend seminars and lectures, a rate much above the European average.

Le Pen says al-Assad is better solution for Syria than Islamic State

France's far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains the more reassuring solution for France than Islamic State.

Residents in northern Greece oppose refugee children attending school

There were renewed clashes between angry residents and police in the northern Greek town of Oreokastro on Monday, where some locals have for months opposed children from a nearby refugee centre being taught at the local school.

Germany, France slam Russia's acceptance of Ukrainian rebel passports

EU member states Germany and France, which have been seeking to mitigate the conflict between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, on Monday broadly condemned Russia's recognition of rebel-issued passports.

Stier says Croatia strongly supports Kosovo, calls for enhancing economic cooperation

The Croatian minister announced a closer economic cooperation with Kosovo.

Afghanistan demands Pakistan hand over militants, shut training camps

The Afghan government has demanded that Pakistan hand over terrorists operating on its soil and close tens of terrorist training camps, the Foreign Ministry in Kabul said Monday.

Four Russian servicemen in Syria killed in vehicle bombing

Four Russian servicemen were killed and two others injured when a remote-controlled bomb exploded under their vehicle in Syria's western Homs region, Russian state media reported Monday, citing the Defence Ministry.

Iraqi forces advance in Mosul as US Defence Secretary visits Baghdad

Iraqi forces pressed on with their offensive to dislodge the extremist Islamic State militia from their stronghold in northern Iraq, as US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis landed in Baghdad on an unannounced official visit.