Racing for Peace: An Israeli/Palestinian Team Seeks Sponsorship to Race Formula Vee in England


“We hope that our message of peace and cooperation will inspire support.” ~ Rasheed Nashashibi

(Verb) For Peace

I’ve written about Building Playgrounds for Peace and Surfing for Peace, but I have yet to write about go-karting for peace– until now.

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

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.


Tip Off
Thanks to Israelity for the tip off.


19 Responses to Racing for Peace: An Israeli/Palestinian Team Seeks Sponsorship to Race Formula Vee in England

  1. […] “Racing for Peace: An Israeli/Palestinian Go-Kart Team Seeks Sponsorship to Race in England&#8… […]

  2. There both good in kart racing. The people of Israel and Palestine should make a way to seek a sponsor for the racing. Even in people in England should make a way to help in order for the race to happen.

  3. thenewjew says:

    Great website you have there.

    It would be nice, but I am thinking the most likely option is that sponsorship comes from England because the value of money is so different there than the rest of the world.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on racing in different parts of the world and emerging racing cultures. Do you know of other places in the Middle East, North Africa, or Southern Europe (besides Italy) that are getting into motor sports?


  4. Maya,
    Love their partnership, love the fellas finding friendship in pride of ones’ nation, and love their working together. Hope! Inspiration! Leadership by example!

    Hope a few of your readers join our ‘discussion’ on philanthropy in November. I posted on the details at:

    Thank you, again, for hosting!

  5. thenewjew says:

    Hi Arlene, great to see you here.

    These kinds of stories are some of my favorites too. I am so happy to bring them to my readers’ attention– the whole world doesn’t have to be death, destruction, and doomsday. We have to search out the hope and love in our lives.

    As far as the hosting: my pleasure. I can’t wait to see what it brings.

    Warm wishes,


  6. hey

    just want to say that its NOT a gokart race its Formula Vee

    thanks for the nice comments


  7. thenewjew says:

    Wow, Rasheed, it’s great to hear from you.

    So please help me understand– you and Aric Lapter met over go-karting, but in Britain you will be doing Formula Vee, which is considered a motor sport?

    I will add the Palracing link you provided, but would like to include anything else about you since I had more information on Aric. Please e-mail me with anything else you would like to to include about you or PalRacing, and I’ll update immediately.

    I especially want to learn more about motor sports in Palestine. Are there any internet sites in English that you could recommend to me specifically on this area?

    Be well and good luck.


    mnorton [at]

  8. Rasheed Nashashibi says:


    send me an email to and i’ll email u my racing CV 😉

    As for motorsports in Palestine, its sooo much more than in Israel but still no track!

    Palestine has just been recognized by the FIA and we have an office i think

    They have their Autocrosses and races. Karting championships and even try to ralley.

    They participate in races abroad.

    I’ve represented Palestine last weekend in Bahrain F1 ciruit during a Formula Zip championship called Thunder Arabia ( and got the 6th place during my 1st ever race:)

    end of the month i will be also representing palestine in Sharm El shiekh in a gokart championship

    so yeah there’s a lot going on… and all this without even having a track here!! people are just crazy about motorsports!!!



  9. thenewjew says:

    Hey Rasheed,

    Check your e-mail. 🙂


  10. Hi maya

    i didn’t get anything:(


  11. thenewjew says:

    Hmm, that’s no good, Rasheed. I resent it, see if you receive it this time.

    My e-mail is mnorton [at] or mayan80 [at]

  12. Rasheed Nashashibi says:

    i got ur email and replied… a bit late as i was testing in silverstone…

  13. […] Racing for Peace: An Israeli/Palestinian Team Seeks Sponsorship to Race Formula Vee in England (Profiles: Arik Lapter and Rasheed Nashashibi) […]

  14. Rasheed Nashashibi says:

    just an update;)
    we have moved to Formula Ford as its got soo much more publicity and would be easier for us to find sponsors…

    so wish us luck 🙂


  15. thenewjew says:

    Dear Rasheed,

    Thanks for the update and congratulations– that is excellent news!

    Happy Eid al-Adha if you are celebrating.

    Warm wishes,


  16. My fellow on Orkut shared this link with me and I’m not dissapointed that I came here.

  17. It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this paragraph at this website.

  18. Reaching for peace does NOT mean normalizing with the enemy BEFORE peace is reached.
    In this particular case it is more of collaboration with the enemy which refuses to recognize any Palestinian rights in their homeland, it is going by the Israeli contention that when Palestinians submit to Israeli conditions of permanent occupation and land dis appropriation and stop resisting it peace will be de facto which case excludes any demure recognition of Palestinian rights in their homeland .
    Such naive acts , although possibly well meant, are exactly what Israel wants.
    It is wrong, anti Palestinian and giving Israel what it wants in return of nothing.
    I hope Rasheed will desist from such acts and behavior in the future

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