Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan Faces a Cross Roads After Coalition Talks in Israel Crumble

The next gift for Mr. Netanyahu could come on June 25, when Mr. Kushner convenes an economic conference in Bahrain. The Palestinians have announced they will boycott the meeting; the Israelis are going. That will allow Mr. Netanyahu to showcase another of his long-term strategic goals — closer ties between Israel and Sunni Muslim leaders in the Persian Gulf, with whom he shares a deep hostility toward Iran.

By holding the meeting, which he calls a “workshop,” Mr. Kushner split the economic component of his plan from the more fraught political solution. The idea was to give the Palestinians and other Arab leaders an incentive — in the form of billions of dollars of investment — to support a peace accord.

Mr. Kushner made some headway on this front. He won a pledge by Qatar, a major financial supporter of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, to attend the workshop, even though it was pushed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are engaged in a bitter feud with the Qataris.

During his tour of the region, Mr. Kushner worked to build Arab support for his plan. His meetings with King Mohammed VI of Morocco and King Abdullah II of Jordan were “very positive and productive,” according to an administration official, though King Abdullah pointedly declared that any plan must provide for a Palestinian state.

The refusal of the Palestinians to attend the Bahrain meeting was a reminder of Mr. Kushner’s uphill struggle to engage with them, ever since they broke off communications with the White House after Mr. Trump moved the embassy.

In the wake of Mr. Netanyahu’s setback, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, cracked that the “deal of the century,” as people have taken to calling the Trump plan, had become the “deal of the next century.”

Given that the plan was almost certain to be summarily rejected by the Palestinians if Mr. Kushner had presented it in the coming weeks, some former diplomats said the Israeli elections amounted to a reprieve for him and his partner, Jason D. Greenblatt, the president’s special envoy.

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