“We hope that our message of peace and cooperation will inspire support.” ~ Rasheed Nashashibi
(Verb) For Peace
I’ll be adding to this series as often as I can, but the main point seems to be that you are doing something for peace. Anything. Just make it a verb and get started.
Go-Karting For Peace
Here’s how it happened.
The sport of go-karting came to Israel in 1996. As one of Israel’s first enthusiasts and an active racer, Aric Lapter became well known in the Israeli arena.
Lapter met Rasheed Nashashibi, 2006 Palestinian go-kart champion, and they decided to team up. Lapter reports their conversation: “I am proud of my state and you are proud of yours. Why not race together?”
The team’s car and uniforms sport Israeli and Palestinian flags.
Lapter and Nashashibi are now looking to race in the 2008 British Vee Formula Championship, but currently lack the necessary funding of $58,000 that will enable them to compete.
Although they have received much positive feedback for their partnership, motor sports like go-karting and Formula Vee racing are not yet popular enough to have sufficient financial backing in Israel. They are looking for sponsors abroad.
Who They Are
- Aric Lapter is a graduate of Tel Aviv University where he studied mechanical engineering. He has raced professionally in Israel, Italy, and England. He designed and drove the first one seat Formula Vee race car created in Israel
- Rasheed Nashashibi has raced professionally in the Palestinian Authority and England. He is a member of Britain’s Kingston Original Karting Society and has won a number of prestigious races and championships. He is also the founder of PalRacing, which organizes races and practices
(Biographical information sourced from the Jerusalem Post and other sites linked below.)
Links: Learn More
- Visit Aric Lapter’s website
- Visit Rasheed Nashashibi’s Palestine Racing website (PalRacing)
- See photos of the racers on Flckr (where these photos are sourced from)
- Learn more about the sport of go-karting
Quotes from Aric Lapter
- On the relatively new arrival of motor sports in Israel: “We have everything in Israel but racing cars and tracks and I believe this is what Herzel and Ben Gurion would have done, if they were still alive.” (Source)
- On starting to race in Israel: “People thought I was mad, they said that a race car had never been made in Israel. So I thought, why not? I’ll be the first.” (Source)
- On Zionism and go-karting: “It all started with Zionism, I thought to myself that we have everything here, hi-tech, food, amazing people. But there is one thing that we don’t have and that is Formula motor racing.” (Source)
- On racing for Israel: “Of course, I’m very proud of being Israeli and my heritage, and I hope I can race with the car abroad on an international, professional level, win, and bring back home prizes and pride.” (Source)
A Note on Rasheed Nashashibi
I would like to bring you a more balanced view of the team, but I could not find anything more on Rasheed Nashashibi, Palracing, or go-karting in Palestine.
If you are able to find such news, I welcome you to send it to me and I will gladly add it to this entry or post again in order to include his story.
UPDATE: Thanks for commenting, Rasheed. It’s great to hear from you.
Thanks to Israelity for the tip off.