After over a year of delays and false starts, the Trump administration finally appears to be setting its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan in motion. True to form, of course, the formal launch of the proposal, scheduled for late June, will lack a political component altogether (the White House is reportedly saving this for a later date), instead focusing solely on economic prospects. The choice of Bahrain as the location for the planned “workshop,” as American officials have described it, says a lot about the process, particularly how unenthused Arab leaders are about it.

Saudi and Emirati officials have already signed on to attend the American-sponsored event. These Arab governments are recipients of significant American aid and will be reluctant to preemptively snub the Trump administration. When they do register their disagreements with Washington they are likely to do so behind closed doors, as was the case with the Iran nuclear deal. Indeed, no Arab state wants to become the subject of partisan fighting in Washington, a fate Saudi Arabia must now endure amid its ongoing war in Yemen and in the aftermath of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination.

Yet officials in these countries may still fear consequences with their respective publics for being too closely associated with an American arrangement all but guaranteed to deny Palestinians statehood and which the P.L.O. is itself boycotting. And this is why Bahrain is a logical choice for the Trump plan confab.

The island nation is home to just 1.5 million people and is highly dependent on outside financial, security, and political support. The country has been bailed out by the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council twice in the past decade; first militarily, during the 2011 uprising, and more recently, financially, with a $10 billion interest-free loan.  Today, the tiny monarchy essentially functions as a Saudi client state. Bahraini officials have also openly taken pro-Israel positions before. I have previously written that this status allows Bahrain to be a test bed for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states on otherwise risky policies toward Israel. If openings to Israel through Bahrain succeed, other GCC members can replicate their approach. For rejectionists in the Arab world, Bahrain’s reputation may already be sullied. But overtures to Israel from Manama do not necessarily need to taint the image of other Arab governments. Thus, if outreach does not work, the scope of the failure can be mitigated by Bahrain’s small size and relative isolation.

I believe this strategy was at play when rumors circulated late last year that Manama would normalize its relationship with Israel. Saudi Arabia and its allies were also likely paying close attention in April when a delegation of Israeli business executives and officials, including Economy Minister Eli Cohen, had to cancel their trip to the Global Entrepreneurship Conference in Bahrain. In that instance, a Kuwaiti minister threatened to boycott the event, Bahraini members of parliament protested, and Shia terror group Saraya Waad Allah released a video featuring a simulated drone strike against the hotel where the Israelis would be staying.

In such a tense environment, it is unlikely that the Bahrainis agreed to host the U.S.-led summit without Riyadh’s consent. Arab officials may face criticism for attending. On the flipside, if Saudi Arabia actively wanted Bahrain to be the location for the Trump plan launch, Manama would have little room to say no.

Many Palestinian and other Arab business people will skip the event out of ideological conviction. Still others may fear repercussions for participating when they return home. Yet as the host nation for the Trump plan’s launch, Bahrain will be the country most closely identified with the program’s inception and is therefore liable to receive the brunt of the backlash. In the Saudi calculation, that may be a relatively low risk wager. This does not mean there are no repercussions, as Iran is bound to exploit any mishaps along the way.

Ultimately, life would be easier for Gulf leaders if the Trump administration weren’t pushing a peace plan that leaves the Palestinians permanently stateless. But given American insistence on releasing the proposal, Arab governments will have to make due, and from their perspective, Bahrain is the perfect recipient for a toxic package no one wants to touch.