On its surface, the Trump administration’s Peace to Prosperity plan appears to check off important boxes for a sustainable resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its authors describe their proposal as a two-state solution, prioritizing Israeli security while calling for concessions like a settlement freeze.

But closer examination of the American initiative reveals that this framing is inaccurate at best, and intentionally misleading at worst. This explainer breaks down six myths about the Trump plan in order to clarify the proposal’s context, content, and consequences.

Myth: The Trump plan provides for a two-state solution

Fact: The Trump plan provides for a two-state solution in name only.

The “state” that the proposal envisions is geographically fragmented by Israel’s planned annexation of all West Bank settlements and lacks any security control over its territory. In all, Israel would be allowed to annex roughly 30 to 40 percent of the West Bank, leaving behind a Palestinian entity that lacks contiguity and that is riddled with extraterritorial Israeli enclaves.

In the West Bank, the Palestinian entity is entirely surrounded by Israeli territory. Because the Palestinian entity created under the Trump plan is not contiguous, it will need to be connected through a network of access roads and tunnels. Israeli security forces would control this infrastructure.

Even the import of goods to the Palestinian state will be handled through port facilities located in Haifa and Ashdod, as well as the Jordanian city of Aqaba, rather than through sovereign Palestinian territory in Gaza, and any import restrictions are entirely under Israel’s discretion. The opening of an airport and seaport on Palestinian territory in the future is subject to an Israeli veto. What this means is that the Palestinians lack any meaningful control over their external borders.

Basic decisions undertaken by the Palestinian entity, like the opening of a tourist area, require Israeli permission. The state’s very independence is conditional upon Israeli approval. This means Israel will still have to take administrative and security responsibility for most of the West Bank, while the Palestinian entity envisioned is essentially non-independent and not a viable state.

The Trump plan contends that “sovereignty is an amorphous concept” in order to present a functionally non-independent entity as a state. While there are already demilitarized states, countries whose defense is outsourced to a larger neighbor, and other arrangements similar to those laid out in the Trump plan, such situations exist by mutual agreement. There is no existing state where the entry and exit of people and goods is subject to the uninvited, overarching control of an external actor except in conditions of armed conflict and military occupation. In order to be enacted, the Trump plan would need to be imposed on the Palestinians from above.

In short, the two-state solution prescribed by the Trump plan does not actually create two states. Instead, it leaves Israel in charge of a non-independent Palestinian entity with a limited degree of autonomy.

Myth: The Trump plan provides Palestinians a capital in East Jerusalem

Fact: The Trump plan acknowledges, but does not fulfill, the Palestinian desire for a capital in East Jerusalem. The planned capital of the Palestinian entity bears next to no connection with the city’s holy sites and the predominantly Arab areas annexed to the municipality after the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Palestinian capital under the Trump plan includes Abu Dis, a Jerusalem suburb, and Kufr Aqab and Shuafat Refugee Camp, two neighborhoods that are part of the Jerusalem municipality but fall east of the Israel-West Bank security barrier constructed in the early 2000s.

Kufr Aqab, a two square mile area, is effectively beyond the reach of both Israeli and Palestinian civil and security services, leading to persistent traffic jams, garbage pile-ups, infrastructure decay, and a generally lawless situation. Shuafat Refugee Camp was the last Palestinian refugee camp to be established in the Jordanian occupied West Bank after the First Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49 and is today the only Palestinian refugee camp to be located within the city of Jerusalem. Many basic services inside the camp, including some healthcare services as well as primary education, continue to be dispensed by UNRWA, the United Nations agency responsible for Palestinian refugees, although Israel is advancing legislation to terminate UNRWA operations in East Jerusalem.

Abu Dis is a West Bank Palestinian town located just outside of the Jerusalem municipal borders. The suburb has been cited as a possible component of a Palestinian capital in previous negotiations, including the 2000 Camp David talks. Construction even began on a parliament building there (the project was ultimately aborted and the structure is abandoned).

None of these three neighborhoods were historically considered to be part of Jerusalem, and none of them were defined as a part of Jerusalem before the Six-Day War. But the bigger problem with East Jerusalem as defined by the Trump plan is not what it includes, but rather what it leaves out. Together, Shuafat and Kufr Aqab account for between one quarter and one third of the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem. The overwhelming majority of Palestinian East Jerusalem is zoned for Israeli control under the plan, despite the fact that over half a century after Israel first annexed the area, most of its residents still lack Israeli citizenship. What the Palestinians are left with are a few small areas that have long been physically and institutionally severed from Jerusalem, which will now be even more cut off from historical East Jerusalem and from access to the Temple Mount and Holy Basin.

Myth: The plan has consensus political support in Israel.

Fact: Opposition leader Benny Gantz has praised the Trump administration’s proposal. But Gantz, who heads Kachol Lavan, Israel’s largest political party, is also urgently trying to avoid a Knesset vote on unilateral annexation of West Bank territory. Reactions from other segments of the Israeli political spectrum have been more mixed.

Throughout Israel’s three successive election cycles since April 2019, Benny Gantz has sought to avoid directly endorsing West Bank annexation while also appealing to Israel’s increasingly right-wing electorate. This has resulted in Gantz promising to annex the Jordan Valley, which most Israelis view as the country’s eastern security border, but only in coordination with the international community. This is as good as promising not to absorb the Jordan Valley, as no other country, save the United States under the Trump administration, will back such a move.

The release of the Trump plan has complicated Gantz’s political calculus. The Kachol Lavan party leader praised the plan as a whole, but cautioned against moves that do not align with the positions espoused by Jordan and other Arab state governments, once again committing in practice to not advance unilateral annexation. Some members of Gantz’s Kachol Lavan party have also expressed misgivings about a provision of the plan that would place over 250,000 Israeli Arab citizens from northern Israel’s Triangle region inside the borders of a Palestinian entity.

Since the Peace to Prosperity plan was unveiled, Gantz’s preferred strategy has been to bring the entire proposal to a vote in the Knesset. In this scenario, the predominantly Arab Joint List, the third largest faction in the Knesset, as well as the small left-wing parties like Labor-Gesher and Meretz, would both likely oppose the plan.

The parties to the right of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud have offered only conditional support for the Trump plan or rejected it outright, lauding the parts that permit annexation while opposing the establishment of a nominally independent Palestinian entity. A vote on the proposal in its entirety therefore puts the right in a bind. This is why Benjamin Netanyahu originally sought to advance a vote on annexation alone, something the prime minister has now postponed until after Israel’s March Knesset elections.

Myth: The Arab states support the Trump plan; the Palestinians are isolated among a group of rogue states in opposing it.

Fact: The Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation, representing most Arab and Muslim states, have rejected the Trump plan. Events surrounding the Trump plan’s release initially gave the impression of limited Arab support, but there was always more to the story.

The ambassadors of Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates attended the official unveiling of the plan in Washington. Several other Arab governments, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, also released statements welcoming the president’s initiative, although these statements were carefully crafted to avoid commenting on the substance of the American proposal.

Bahrain, Oman, and the UAE later reported that they had attended the launch event for the Trump plan because they had not been fully briefed on its contents, which they opposed. Whether or not that claim is true, Arab state rejection of the plan was ultimately borne out in unanimous votes by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemning the Trump administration.

The Arab League’s rejection is particularly important because it emphasized the Arab Peace Initiative (API) as the minimum basis for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Launched by the Arab League in 2002, the API calls for a two-state solution based on the June 1967 lines in exchange for normalization between Israel and the Arab states. Israel has never formally responded to that proposal. The initial Saudi statement on the Peace to Prosperity plan, which welcomed the Trump administration’s efforts but neglected to comment on the substance of its proposal, also referenced the Arab Peace Initiative.

Notably, Jordan has been consistent in its opposition to the Trump plan. Even before the proposal was released, Jordanian officials signaled that they were concerned about the Trump proposal. Jordan is particularly sensitive to issues regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict given its own large Palestinian population and its special status as custodian of Jerusalem’s Muslim holy sites. There are also persistent fears among Jordanian officials that Israeli annexation of West Bank territory is the first step in a move to abolish the Hashemite monarchy and turn Jordan into an alternative Palestinian state.

The upshot of all of this is that the Palestinians are not alone in rejecting the Trump plan. The United States and Israel may feel comfortable disregarding the Palestinian position, but the administration’s proposal is bound to create friction with more consequential regional partners as well.

Myth: The Trump plan requires Israel to make major concessions, including a settlement freeze.

Fact: The Trump plan’s settlement freeze is a rhetorical sleight of hand that requires no compromise on Israel’s part.

The Trump plan states that during negotiations, Israel will not build any new settlements or expand existing settlements in areas “that are not contemplated by this Vision to be part of the State of Israel.” Applied to previous proposals for a two-state solution, such a provision might mean that Israel could not build outside of the so-called “blocs,” the settlements that hug the Green Line and account for 5% of West Bank land and 80% of the Jewish settler population.

But the White House’s proposal allows for Israel to annex all settlements. What this means in the context of the Trump plan is that the only places that Israel is prohibited from building in are areas already under Palestinian Authority administration and empty parts of Area C in which Israel has never, in over half a century, sought to develop settlements, and where it is highly unlikely to do so in the future.

The prohibition against any new settlements is similarly meaningless: only one new Israeli settlement has been formally established in the past twenty years.

So what is framed as a compromise is actually a green light for annexation that includes no requirement for Israel to adjust its current practices.

The Trump plan places two additional conditions that might look like compromises on the surface, but are anything but. Under the plan, Israel is expected not to expand any enclaves (the administration’s term for non-contiguous Israeli settlements) “beyond their current footprint.” But the notion of the settlements’ footprint is ill-defined, and the boundaries of current footprints are slated to be determined by a joint U.S.-Israel working group that is likely to incorporate room for these settlements to grow.

Finally, the plan calls upon Israel to not “demolish any structure [in the West Bank] existing as of the date of this Vision.” But the plan’s authors make two critical exceptions that make this a hollow demand. First, they state that “this moratorium does not preclude demolition of any illegal structure, where such construction was initiated following the release of this Vision.” Second, the stipulation excludes “the demolition of any structure that poses a safety risk, as determined by the State of Israel, or punitive demolitions following acts of terrorism.”

Because it is exceedingly difficult for Palestinians to obtain building permits in Area C of the West Bank (Israel rejected 98% of permit requests submitted from 2016-18), illegal construction is inevitable, meaning demolitions will continue for new structures. Moreover, allowing for demolitions at Israel’s discretion based on loose criteria (“any structure that poses a safety risk”) means Israel may continue its present policies unimpeded.

A viable two-state solution will require serious compromises from both Israelis and Palestinians. Asking Israel not to do something it never had any intention of doing and then framing it as a concession is disingenuous. We can be certain that under the Trump plan, no new Jewish settlement will spring up in the heart of downtown Ramallah, which was already a functional impossibility.

Myth: The Trump plan enhances Israeli security by permitting annexation of large portions of the West Bank.

Fact: Most Israeli security experts believe annexation will make Israel less safe.

Annexation of large parts of the West Bank, as envisioned by the Trump plan, would create a patchwork of Israeli enclaves within a Palestinian entity. The settlements that would comprise these enclaves are home to just 14,000 of the approximately 460,000 Jewish settlers currently residing in the West Bank.

The territorial fragmentation of the West Bank would necessitate the building of 850 miles of new border infrastructure, as compared to the existing Israel-West Bank barrier, which is about 440 miles long. These enclaves would be difficult to protect and would require additional Israeli military deployments to the territories.

Israeli security experts have projected that even partial West Bank annexation could initiate a chain reaction that ends in a one state scenario. Formal Israeli absorption of parts of the West Bank will place significant stress on the Palestinian Authority, which is opposed to the Trump plan. The Palestinian Authority could collapse or terminate security cooperation with Israel, forcing Israel to assume a policing function across all of the West Bank while also taking responsibility for basic services currently provided by the PA such as education, healthcare, and social security.

Israeli settler leaders who oppose the creation of any kind of Palestinian entity have stated that annexing settlements in isolation, as envisioned in the Trump plan, creates an indefensible security situation. Implicitly, this means that Israel would have to assert permanent, formal control over the entire West Bank in order to protect far-flung outposts, which would place an even more severe strain on the PA, possibly leading to its dissolution.

Israel’s security relationships with other key partners may also suffer as a result of the Trump plan.

Jordan, one of only two Arab countries to maintain a formal peace treaty with Israel, is deeply opposed to the Trump plan. Relations between Israel and Jordan were at a low ebb even before the Trump administration unveiled its proposal. There is already pressure on Amman to terminate its treaty with Israel. While Jordan has so far resisted such demands, something that radically changes the dynamic, like annexation of parts of the West Bank, could create an unpredictable situation.

In the United States, discussions on conditioning American security assistance to Israel have emerged on the political margins in Congress and in the Democratic Party presidential primary. Unilateral Israeli annexation of West Bank territory, as envisioned under the Trump plan, risks foreclosing the option of a viable two-state outcome and will only help to bring these positions more into the American political mainstream.

By conceding to maximalist Israeli territorial ambitions, the Trump administration’s proposal presents the veneer of ensuring Israeli security. But this appearance belies the serious risk that the Trump plan, if enacted, will compromise Israel’s security ties with the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship, and deeply complicate Israel’s position in the West Bank.