Some two months ago, Yad L'Achim learned that an attorney who represents the Messianic Jews cult, Calev Myers, had published a flyer claiming that Yad L'Achim used "tactics of the Gestapo and the KGB" in its attempts to identify non-Jews masquerading as Jews in order to receive Israeli citizenship.
In response, Sheftel fired off a no-holds-barred letter to Myers saying, "It has come to my attention that you put out an anti-Semitic flyer, filled with lies, nonsense and incitement to hatred, [reflecting the] most despicable strain of anti-Semitism."
At the conclusion of his lengthy, reasoned letter, Sheftel made two demands: That Myers publish an apology for his flyer, admitting that it comprised false and hateful claims; that he compensate Yad L'achim for damages amounting to NIS 1 million.
"Should you fail to comply, my client will take all legal measures at his disposal. No further warning will be sent."
The letter had an immediate effect, as the missionaries removed the hateful notice from their site within 24 hours of its receipt.
However, instead of expressing remorse, they sent a letter to the Ethics Committee of the Israel Bar Association complaining that Sheftel had not treated Myers with the respect that attorneys are supposed to show one another and that "he attributed to me personally insulting things."
Following protocol, the chairman of the Ethics Committee, Ephraim Naveh, sent a letter to Sheftel giving him 14 days to respond to the complaint. "[If you fail to respond,] we will be forced, to our sorrow, to relate to the matter as a complaint against you, in the context of clause 1 in the rules of the Israel Bar Association."
Sheftel's response to the committee was fast and furious. "The flyer [put out by Myers] was filled with lies and incitement, typical of the despicable accusations. The attorney is fully aware of this; that's why, after receiving my letter, he immediately removed the lying drivel from the site. But removing the notice was obviously not enough to prevent a slander suit from being filed against the meshumad."
After explaining the nature of missionaries, and the spiritual destruction they wreak, Sheftel concluded: "My letter was not written as a communication to a professional colleague, but as a letter to a meshumad, who put out a flyer against my client. Therefore, it doesn’t include titles of honor."
Yad L'Achim chairman Harav Shalom Dov Lipschitz noted that the quick initial response of Sheftel to the anti-Semitic flyer had led to its being removed from the missionaries' site. "This proves that only immediate action can put a brake on the irresponsible behavior of the missionaries."
Rav Lipschitz renewed his call for an amendment to the missionary law, as the "only way to block their terrible deeds."