In National Security Address, Hillary Clinton Lambastes Trump's 'Neutrality' on Israel

Republican presumptive nominee's ideas on foreign policy are 'dangerously incoherent', Clinton says.

Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, delivers a national security speech at Balboa Park in San Diego, California, U.S., on Thursday, June 2, 2016.
Troy Harvey / Bloomberg

This article was originally published on Jewish Insider.

Donald Trump’s comments about remaining “neutral” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should not be easily dismissed, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

“It is no small thing when [Donald Trump] says he’d be neutral with Israel,” Clinton said during a major national security address in San Diego on Thursday, in which she labeled Trump a “temperamentally unfit” to serve as president and called his ideas “dangerously incoherent.”

"They're not even really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies," she said.

“Israel’s security is non-negotiable,” she declared. “They are our closest ally in the region, and we have a moral obligation to defend them.”

Clinton also touted her role in leading the effort to impose crippling sanctions on Iran and defended the nuclear deal “that should block every path for Iran to get a nuclear weapon.”

“Now we must enforce that deal vigorously. And as I have said many times before, our approach must be distrust and verify,” she said. “The world must understand that the United States will act decisively if necessary, including with military action, to stop Iran from getting an nuclear weapon.”

The former Secretary of State challenged the presumptive Republican nominee to offer an alternative in the absence of a nuclear deal he’s opposed to. “Donald Trump doesn’t know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program. Ask him. It will become very clear, very quickly,” she suggested.

In her 30-minute address, Clinton said the election in the fall “is a choice between a fearful America that is less secure and less engaged with the world, and a strong America that leads to keep us safe and our economy going.”

Noting her tenure as secretary of state, mentioning her success in brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, among others, Clinton said, “I’m not new to this work, and I’m proud to run on my record, because I think the choice before the American people in this election is clear. Making Donald Trump commander-in-chief would be a historic mistake.”

Trump, a billionaire businessman who has never held elected office or worked in government before, says he has experience dealing with foreign governments through setting up hotels, resorts, golf courses and beauty pageants in foreign countries. Clinton, who is also a former U.S. senator and former first lady, mocked this. 

"He says he has foreign policy experience because he ran the Miss Universe pageant in Russia," she said to loud laughter. 

Trump has talked tough on foreign policy. He has said he would bring back waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques for terrorism suspects that are widely regarded as torture and were discontinued by Democratic President Barack Obama. 

He has also vowed to renegotiate trade deals, called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country, and said he would ask members of the 28-nation NATO alliance to "pay up" or "get out." 

Trump has criticized Clinton for her handling of foreign policy during her 2009-2013 stint as foreign secretary, including the Sept. 11, 2012, attack by Islamist militants on a U.S. diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. 

He cites Clinton's support for the Iraq war - launched by former Republican President George W. Bush - as another example of her shortcomings. 

At a rally Wednesday night in Sacramento, California, Trump said he had seen a copy of Clinton's speech and "it was such lies about my foreign policy." 

Sign up for Jewish Insider's curated Daily Kickoff newsletter here.