Israeli Arabs from across Israel danced their way hand in hand into the Guiness Book of World Records on Sunday after they held the largest and longest group performance of the “Debke” dance inside the walls of the Old City of Acre. A record 2,743 people danced for seven minutes straight holding hands in a human chain that stretched down Hagana Street in Acre’s famed Old City, smashing the previous record of 1,700 set in Toronto a few years ago. The Debke is a six-step dance that is performed while holding hands in a line. For years it has been a mainstay of weddings and communal celebrations in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and even Turkey and Iraq.
According to Ha’aretz, the proceedings were broadcast live for two hours on Al-Jazeera — gripping television, no doubt, and a broadcast that can only enhance the image of Israel in the Arab world.