Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton to headline AIPAC conference

Story highlights

  • Americans will see a preview of what could be the general election matchup when the Democratic and Republican front-runners make pitches to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee audience later this month
  • Trump's address will be watched particularly closely

Washington (CNN)Americans will see a preview of what could be the general election matchup when the Democratic and Republican front-runners make pitches to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee audience later this month.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are now scheduled to address the conference hosted by AIPAC, the leading pro-Israel lobby in Washington, from March 20 to March 22, the organization said Friday. AIPAC did not specify the dates on which the candidates will speak.
    Trump and Clinton have rarely spoken to the same audiences so far in the campaign. But each candidate has tried to position themselves as a pro-Israel voice in their respective parties.
    Trump's address will be watched particularly closely. Rivals have started targeting him for comments he made about pledging to be "neutral" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Republicans saying that it suggests Trump is not sufficiently pro-Israel.
    The real estate mogul has defended his comment by arguing that he did not want to tip the scales in a negotiating process over a two-state solution and held out that the U.S. could be an honest broker.
    "There's nobody on this stage that's more pro-Israel than I am," he said in CNN's Republican debate on Thursday. He called the peace process "the toughest deal, the toughest negotiation there probably is of any kind, no matter where you look, no matter how hard you look. But I would like to give it a shot."