Paul Prettitore, Legal Advisor to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), and a former legal advisor to the Office of the High Representative in BiH.
In January of this year I spent one week travelling through Israel and the West Bank with members of BADIL to participate in workshops on the issues of the return of refugees and displaced persons and property restitution. I had been invited because of my experience in Bosnia working on human rights issues, particularly those regarding refugees and displaced persons. Despite curfews and roadblocks, we were lucky enough to visit Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nazareth and Tel Aviv. During my trip we arranged a number of meetings with refugees and displaced persons to discuss the situation in Bosnia to see if any of the lessons learned there could be used in Israel and Palestine. While there are many similarities between the two situations, there are also vast differences.