In recent times, the issues surrounding the "67 borders" have become part of the public debate. In recent speeches, President Obama has suggested that Israel should return to pre-1967 borders with "land-swaps" in exchange for some form of peace with the Palestinians living within current Israeli territory. The validity of Obama's suggestion has been questioned by both members of the political left and right and in the opinion of this author, with considerable merit. However, the ultimate judgment on the validity of Obama's suggestion should be based on a study encompassing the decisions, both correct and flawed, of the leaders during the 1967 war. For this, a study of collective misperceptions, decision making, and the eventual consequences such decisions brought is necessary. That is the purpose of this thesis. For a proper analysis of the misperceptions and decision making surrounding the 1967 war, its proper to review the source material. In that light, there is no shortage of material written about the 1967 war; American, Israel, and Arab authors have all contributed to the historical records. However, much of the material is focused on a historical perspective and not on the decision-making process. There are not many exceptions. Therefore, it becomes important to compare the newer analyzed material against the primary source material and discuss the discrepancies. At the end, it will be determined whether the collective governmental decisions based upon misperceptions accelerated, decelerated, or had a neutral effect on the outbreak of the war. Comparing the source material and viewing it through the filter of newly released information will constitute the methodology whenever possible. The results of this study have revealed a mixed bag of results depending on the nation in question. This was to be expected because individual nations are subject to different misperceptions.; Nations falling under the spell of different misperceptions experience different consequences and outcomes than those who do not. Additionally, even if two separate nations are exposed to the same stimulus, their response may be completely different. In terms of the 1967 war, it can be stated that Israeli misperceptions staved off the start of the 1967 War, whereas Soviet and Arab misperceptions served to accelerate it. By contrast American misperceptions seemed to have little if any affect whatsoever. The purpose of thesis is to expose and documents misperceptions and the resulting consequences that arose from them. It is not designed to make judgments about the current political situation. However, it is the sincere hope of this author that when a situation runs parallel to the events of the 1967, some of the same mistakes can be avoided. Exactly what runs parallel, and what is significant in today's world, is left to the reader's own judgment.


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Thesis Completion





Houghton, David Patrick


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program



Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

Included in

Psychology Commons