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Trump signs an order recognizing Golan Heights as Israeli territory in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Michael Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images

Israel still hasn't gotten a formal invitation to participate in the U.S.-led Bahrain conference, which will take place on June 25 and launch the economic part of the White House's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The U.S. told Israel that it must first get more confirmations from Arab and Muslim countries, according to Israeli officials.

Why it matters: Israeli officials say the fact that Israel still hasn't gotten a formal invitation is a sign of difficulties the Bahrain conference faces as a result of Palestinian pressure on Arab and Muslim countries not to attend. The officials told me the U.S. is concerned by the fact that Egypt, Jordan and other Arab and Muslim countries haven't published statements on their intention to attend the conference.

Details: A senior Israeli official told me President Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner, who heads the White House "Peace Team," told Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during their May 30 meeting in Jerusalem that the U.S. is waiting for more countries — mainly Arab and Muslim ones — to RSVP for the Bahrain conference. Only then will Israel be formally invited and will the U.S. make it public.

  • Israeli officials told me Netanyahu has decided to send Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon to the conference and that he informed Kahlon of this in a meeting last week. Kahlon is waiting to see if Israel gets an invitation in the next few days in order to decide whether to go to Washington before the conference to coordinate with Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 
  • The White House refrained from commenting on this story.

Go deeper: Kushner uncertain Palestinians are capable of governing themselves

Go deeper

Rahm Emanuel questioned on murder of Laquan McDonald in confirmation hearing

Rahm Emanuel during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Oct. 20. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke about the murder of Laquan McDonald during his Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the U.S. ambassador to Japan, saying that "there's not a day or a week that has gone by in the last seven years I haven't thought about this."

Catch up quick: McDonald was a Black teenager who was fatally shot 16 times by Chicago police during Emanuel's tenure as the city's mayor. The 2014 shooting triggered massive protests, both because of its nature and the fact that the officers' body-cam footage was concealed for years.

3 hours ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.