In a high profile email campaign on Wednesday, thousands of people received a stark warning of "the danger Zionists were placing on Jews worldwide".

Rabbi Dovid Feldman told Aljazeera.net that a silent majority of Jews opposed the Zionist ideology which led to the creation of modern Israel.

Feldman claims there are many more rabbis and others who sincerely practice their faith that hold similar opinions all round the world.

The message urged would-be-emigrants not to believe that events in Istanbul or France “make it necessary for Jews to leave their native countries and move to the most dangerous place on Earth for the Jewish People.”

Response to Sharon

The campaign came in response to comments made on 17 November by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

The PM told journalists at a hotel in Rome: “The best solution to anti-Semitism is immigration to Israel. It is the only place on Earth where Jews can live as Jews.”

The invitation has been received coldly by The True Torah campaign and by some eminent religious scholars.

Feldman and the late rabbi, Yoel Teitelbaum, extensively promoted a theological position that requires Jews to condemn the foundation of the secular state of Israel.

The rabbi claims the Zionist movement rejects all of the fundamental principles of Torah and insists Jews do not need a state of their own, adding the very establishment of a “Jewish” state is a grave violation of tradition and law.

Second campaign

In a letter addressed to US President George Bush and published in the Washington Post in September, the website "jewsagainstzionism" applauded the sentiment.

“They [Israelis] don’t represent the Jewish people in any way whatsoever. They have no right to speak in the name of the Jewish people.

“We deplore acts and policies carried out by those who – misusing the name of Israel – have subsitiuted the ideal of nationalism for the teaching of the holy Torah.”

The website also criticised Tel Aviv’s policy of filling people with fear and paranoia in order to realise their goal of bringing more immigrants into the country who are to “serve as cannon fodder in the Zionist war against the Palestinians”.

Haaretz facts

There are currently about 760,000 Israelis living overseas with the majority based in north america, according to official statistics published in the Haaretz newspaper on Wednesday.

Sixty percent live in the US and Canada, while a quarter are based in Europe.

Israel's population currently stands at 6.6 million at the end of last year, including 1.1 million non-Jews.