Just after the Goldstone Report was released the Israeli foreign ministry began an online ad campaign offering the “facts” about Operation Cast Lead. Clearly, someone feels this campaign was too straightforward and perhaps ineffective. Now a new online ad campaign has been created by a hazy group of right-wing pro-Israel sources. The ad, discovered by reader John Dickerson to be running at at least one progressive website, Antiwar Newswire, features a link to UN Goldstone Gaza Report. This is a fairly straightforward hasbara site offering media analysis and Israeli government rebuttals of the Report.
But there are several other interesting aspects of the site. First, nowhere does it identify the specific organization behind this effort. It does credit the Richard and Rochelle Maize Foundation for financial support. The Maizes are wealthy Los Angeles Jews with real estate interests whose foundation supports mainly white bread Israeli projects like the Maccabiah. This page on their site under the “human rights” section describes their visceral distaste for Goldstone. They link to the hasbara site I mentioned above plus a second site, the Association for Human Rights in Israel.
The reason my antennae went up is that there is a legitimate Israeli NGO, the Association for CIVIL Rights in Israel, which protects the rights of Israeli-Palestinian citizens. But there IS no Association for Human Rights in Israel. In fact, the groups website was first registered on September 17, 2009. In other words, whoever is behind the anti-Goldstone campaign has created a front group that doesn’t exist and named it so as to confuse people about the true identity of the group. They seek to hijack the legitimate reputation ACRI has developed for fighting on behalf of Israeli civil rights in order to lend false luster to their own fraudulent enterprise.
Another entity credited for the campaign is Leyden Communications, which is an Israeli PR consultant, Joel Leyden. The latter’s website notes that he served in the Israeli Border Police, known as one of the most thuggish of Israeli law enforcement agencies. In addition, other clients have been the IDF, the Israel Project, Israel Aircraft Industries, Israel Military Products, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel Government Press Office, Israel Internet Terrorism Hotline, and Free the Iranian Jews.
So if we’re looking for the fingerprints of the original agent in this campaign, my first guess would be the Israeli foreign ministry or some official Israeli government body. But my eyes were drawn to an interesting link in these two sites’ blogroll, Honest Reporting. This is a hasbara site dedicated to rebutting anti-Israel coverage in the media. It is run by Rabbi Ephraim Shore and closely affiliated with Aish Hatorah, Clarion Fund and Rabbi Raphael Shore. Clarion and the latter Shore were the figures behind the anti-Muslim films, Obsession and Third Jihad. My money is on Honest Reporting being involved in, or the sole agent of this project.
Of course, it is always possible that the Maizes themselves are the culprits as this passage from a press release they distributed about their effort notes:
In an unprecedented move, California mortgage broker Richard Maize put immense efforts into creating human rights information sites on the Internet to call into question the conclusions reached in the UN Goldstone Report which was released last week.
If this is the case, then blame falls squarely on Joel Leyden as being the “intellectual” author of, and scumbucket behind this campaign.
Simon Plosker says
Please ask yourself this question: why would HonestReporting distract its subscribers or anyone else from its own efforts to address the Goldstone Report by creating some secret parallel website?
We have our own material and are in no way involved with the AHRI, Richard Maize Foundation, Clarion Fund or the setting up of the Goldstone website that you refer to.
Having our own site linked on a blogroll is evidence of nothing. HonestReporting appears on the blogrolls of many other websites who support our work. Likewise, HR’s own blog, Backspin, contains links to many other blogs. As a blogger yourself, you should know that this is not evidence of any official or financial connections.
You are at liberty to publish conspiracy theories galore. Please, however, leave HonestReporting out of them.
Managing Editor, HonestReporting
Richard Silverstein says
I noted several possibilities for authorship of the websites including Honest Reporting. Joel Leyden claims that he and his client, the Foundation named above are the agents of this atrocity. I still believe that there is another hand behind it considering Leyden’s long list of Israeli military/intelligence clients, though it is possible it is as Leyden claims.
Aish, Clarion Fund & Honest Reporting are a virtually interlocking directorates so for you to claim you have nothing to do with Clarion doesn’t pass the smell test.
Simon Plosker says
We have nothing to hide. Our own website even describes Aish’s initial involvement in the setting up of HR:
“In early 2001, those first volunteers turned to the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah to help build a website, develop materials and grow the subscriber base even further. Later that year, the project, having grown to become a major organization in its own right, was established as a US non-profit organization (501c3) with an Independent Board of Directors.”
There are no virtually interlocking directorates here. Aish and HR are two separate entities and we don’t need to hide any previous relationships.
As for the Clarion Fund, its activities are absolutely nothing to do with us and we don’t need to pass any smell tests. You can disagree with anything or everything that HR publishes but please don’t accuse me of lying.
Richard Silverstein says
Raphael Shore and his “product” is noxious. His brother runs yr outfit unless things have changed since I last looked into this. Both are deeply immersed in Aish & share virtually identical political beliefs & support for the settler movement. I simply don’t believe yr claim that you’re totally independent of ea. other.
I never used the term lying pertaining to you since I don’t know you. But Raphael Shore & virtually all he touches is replete with mendacity. You would do well to stay as clear as you can of anything he does. But give Ephraim Shore is his brother & runs HR, I don’t see how this is possible.
Simon Plosker says
Yawn… As Raphael Shore and his activities are nothing to do with me or HR, I’m not going to waste my time weighing in on what he gets up to. I’m off to enjoy my weekend and I hope that you do the same.
There can be no question that the name the Association for Human Rights in Israel was chosen to try to confuse people. I stumbled onto their site as well, but as soon as you read a few lines you realize that you are being fooled… They must have an enormous contempt for the intelligence of their intended readership. The only effect is, that you leave feeling disgusted by these dishonest people and their silly methods.
Richard are you aware of Richard Maize’s history?
Here’s another one
But for his guilty plea agreement he would be sitting in a jail cell for years. When you first reported on this, I looked into the connections. I’ll scratch my brain because they are there somewhere. In the past he has been referred to as “secretive”, not wanting attention, camera shy, etc.
As for Plosker denying connections to the Clarion Fund, what a hoot. You have all that info from last year. Oh, and the Clarion Fund issued a statement in support of the witch hunt for CAIR infiltrators in Congress.
Also, the 990 is partially up for the Clarion Fund at Guidestar. That was a couple of months ago when they filed for an extension to file the complete 990 which may be up by now. It is laughable reading for sure.
It’s amazing how these folks deny any affiliation with each other when they make it their business to find affiliations with those they oppose. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and their affiliations are more than obvious. A power point mapping would be an excellent means of showing it once all the players are identified.
Richard Silverstein says
Wow, Robin, great sleuthing. Maize is a poster children for the U.S. mortgage crisis & one of its primary bad apples. Amazing that he wants to teach anybody any moral lessons.
WOW, this is bizarre, google Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation for the year 2007 to see some of their activities that year.
Here is one: Notice the date on it, August 10,2007, which comes just three months after his guilty plea
Sherri Lansing recognizes Richard Maize.
“In addition to contributing to the American Cancer Society, the Maizes recently established the Richard and Rochelle Maize Foundation with the goal of supporting a wide-range of meaningful non-profit organizations that work to help people live more fulfilling and happy lives. Whether an organization’s mission focuses on healthcare, education, youth and family services or art and culture, the Maize Foundation believes that no cause is ever too small or insignificant if it fulfills an unmet need in the community”.
The press release from the United States Attorney’s office announcing Maize’s guilty plea is dated May 25, 2007, SO, there he is less than three months later appearing at a shindig where he is lauded for all his philanthropy, specifically mentioning the foundation they had set up.
It gets even more interesting when you look at the 990 for the Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation for 2007. Guidestar notes the foundation was founded in 2008 however this has to be a mistake because the 990 is for 2007 and supposedly as of Aug 2007 they were going around telling people they had established a foundation
There is only $22.500 on their books for the year, and the 990 was submitted in OCTOBER 7, 2008, read again TWO THOUSAND EIGHT meaning the 990 they submitted covered what they did in the year prior! The foundation’s contributions listed are:
End Dependence $100
Cedar’s Sinai Medical Research $400
Water Bufflo Club $3500 (a children’s charity)
WOW-in 2007 their ubiquitous foundation donated a total of $4250 for the entire year according to their 990! I’m impressed (not). The same year they are running around being touted for their philanthropy and the foundation they founded and Richard was indicted and plead guilty (with a multi-million dollar fine and escaping up to 98 years in prison) WOW the foundation donated $400 to a health care related cause according to their 2007 990!
Take a gander at the home page for the foundation where Richard is touted:
“With an entrepreneurial spirit and tireless effort, Richard Maize expanded his business and became known as an industry expert, regularly appearing as a commentator for KCAL-TV news sharing his insights about real estate trends, marketing and finance”.
Absolutely NO mention of his guilty plea in a scheme that is still having fallout with new indictments recently.
OOH boy, here he is in hot water in Oregon as well (I am sure whatever state Americorps Funding operated in he faced or is facing similar charges)
Just google it anyone, the indictments for this fraud are still coming down while Richard Maize gets to run around doing his thing.
OK, hold the applause, “Richard Maize, Real Estate Expert Mentors for the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles` Young Leadership Development Institute” DATED March 9,2009!
Mortgage Broker Richard Maize Defends Israel and Supports Young Jewish Athletes:
Richard Maize is a respected mortgage broker from the Los Angeles area…………………………..
Indictment + guilty plea + multi-million dollar fine + escaping up to 98 years in prison + fallout still occurring from Americorps fraud dealings = “a respected mortgage broker”
Is there something “off” about this?
OK, one last one here:
Notice the date, January 2,2008, notice what it states:
“Through their newly established foundation, Rochelle and Richard Maize are dedicated to supporting the Beverly Hills Police Officers Association in its mission to protect those who protect and serve the community of Beverly Hills with the needed supplemental funds for education, health and retirement”.
HELLO, the 990 for the Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation for the year 2007 notes contributions totaling $4250 with not one single mention on the 990 of ANY doings with the Beverly Hills Police Officer’s Association!!!!!Evidently, although the 2008 990 for the foundation is not available, Richard and Rochelle Maize appeared at fundraisers for the LAPD and Beverly Hills PD in 2008
BUT at the time of that press release thanking the foundation, not one single penny for fiscal year 2007 for the foundation had gone to the Beverly Hills PD
How does this apply to Richard Maize now throwing money behind this “human rights organization”? It goes to rather odd shoving under the rug of his past crimes and somehow it APPEARS to be some odd goings on with what was attributed to this foundation when it was founded.
I can’t help myself
http://www.richard-maize DOT org/
“In 2007, actress Jamie Lee Curtis joined Rochelle and Richard Maize on behalf of the Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation, for the third annual “Pink Party Benefits the Women’s Cancer Research Institute” at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The gala raised funds for cancer research, awareness and potential cures. “Through our foundation, we are committed to giving to causes that directly benefit women with breast and gynecological cancers affecting more than 250,000 women each year,” said Richard Maize, co-founder of the Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation and a Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors member.”
NOTE the date of Richard Maize’s statement, 2007! For that entire year according to the foundation’s 990 they gave $FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS to Cedar’s Sinai!!!!!!
If this is still his foundation’s idea of “commitment to giving to causes” I don’t think anyone has anything to worry about! NOTE: here is the 990 for the foundation for 2007
It gets better Richard, check out the original article that let the world know that the Richard Maize Foundation has expanded their philanthropy to Israel:
See the author? Larry Butchins. OK, now, just by happenstance he is connected to Leyden, both are pr guys, and they just happened to attend a conference on social networking that Leyden hosted
NOW, how inexpensive of “pr” can you use for this purpose.
HEY, blogspot, it’s FREE (but does take time as any blogger would attest-time charged?) and Larry Butchins has set up a blog, but get this, the url–look at the “about”-Larry Butchins is the blog owner.
Richard Maize even saves lost puppies! He also helps unnamed Katrina victims. He’s one heck of a guy!
I don’t know about anyone else’s take on this, but this whole thing appears to be a pr campaign on behalf of Richard Maize! Those two websites he set up which you have written about here, Larry Butchins sure let the world know! Website domains aren’t expensive whatsoever to put up, but add to that the GLOWING information about Richard Maize and the blog about Richard Maize hosted by Larry Butchins and it just seems ODD. Then there is the self-made glowing report of himself on the “Foundation” website which omits any reference to his indictment, guilty plea and fine paid in lieu of up to 98 years in prison and what you are seeing is a pr campaign to put Richard Maize “out there” on the internet (which voila-the conference which Leyden hosted and Butchins attended was all about)
I’m curious if a 990 will be posted for 2008 because a 5013c with under $25,000 on the books is not required to file-although they did file for 2007 ($22,500 assets that year). Now there are reports that the foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. If they are running those monies through the foundation then they will HAVE to file for 2008. Furthermore, the entity, “The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation” should NOT be given credit unless it is the FOUNDATION doing all these works.
Note again the biography for Richard Maize:
The Rochelle and Richard Maize Foundation has been instrumental in raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for its various charities and interests. Through Rochelle and Richard Maize’s recently established foundation, Rochelle and Richard Maize also support the Beverly Hills Police Officers Association in its mission to protect those who in turn protect and serve the Beverly Hills community with needed funds for education, health and retirement.
Jerry Maguire here, “FOUNDATION”-show me the money.
(AGAIN-I note, I am not denying that Richard and Rochelle Maize have been involved in many charitable efforts, I am questioning what is being attributed to the FOUNDATION-a CHARITABLE (nice word to attach) 5013c.
Could just be me being a stickler for terminology being used-BUT-if the FOUNDATION is being given credit for all these monies donated, then it SHOULD be on the FOUNDATIONS books/990.
Makes me think about establishing a “foundation” and hooking up with a pr guy.
Joachim Martillo says
The anti-Goldstone campaign by extremist Zionists is by my standards quite bizarre because the Report contains hasbarah that I consider unacceptable and that Richard probably would too — Zionism in Goldstone Report:
Sorry to sneak back in here, but I just found another interesting quirk. The above article referred to concerning Sherri Lansing honoring the Maizes, dated Aug 10, 2007 states:
“In addition to contributing to the American Cancer Society, the Maizes recently established the Richard and Rochelle Maize Foundation with the goal of supporting a wide-range of meaningful non-profit organizations that work to help people live more fulfilling and happy lives.”
UM, this is from the California Secretary of State Business Portal:
ROCHELLE AND RICHARD MAIZE FOUNDATION
Number: C3052886 Date Filed: 10/29/2007 Status: active
421 N BEVERLY DR STE 300
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210
Agent for Service of Process
614 NORTH ALTA DR
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210
See that? They didn’t incorporate until October 2007. That explains why the 990 was filed a year later, October 2008 because that is their fiscal year beginning with their filing.
It also explains why Guidestar states the foundation was founded in 2008. You must incorporate first to get your EIN number, then you file for 5013c status. So long story short, Sherri Lansing was honoring a “recently” established foundation in August 2007 which did NOT exist yet- THREE MONTHS after Richard Maize plead guilty to mortgage fraud,agreed to pay a multi-million dollar fine which allowed him to escape up to 98 years in prison (sorry I keep repeating that, but it’s the truth!) And here the FOUNDATION is financially supporting-as stated- some phony NGO up on the internet. Maybe it’s just me but there seems to be a pattern here of stretching information.
Here is a question I have which I cannot find the answer to readily: Can an officer (Richard is the secretary for the foundation) of a 5013c have a federal crime on their record to which they have plead guilty to? Richard Maize plead guilty to five federal counts.
Note: the California Secretary of State Business Portal information lists Richard Maize as the Agent for Service of Process for the foundation (Officer appointed by a corporation to receive legal notices or processes on the corporation’s behalf. Also called registered agent.)
If all is kosher here, and someone who has plead guilty to five federal counts can hold an officers position for a 5013c-then so be it. If someone who has plead guilty to five federal counts can serve as the agent for service of process, then so be it.
This IS the man who founded the foundation who it is stated is financially supporting these websites, one impersonating an NGO which Richard has found does not exist.
Ashley kennedy says
Richard Maize is an absolutely fascinating character.
http://losangeles.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel07/la052507usa.htm Department of Justice LA
to hasbarachik with international standing and powerful enough to stall a UN report:-
Israel Human Rights
The most recent endeavor Richard Maize has participated in is in reaction to a UN commissioned report that has been proven to be very biased against Israel. Although normally highly involved with international human rights issues, this report was so blatantly biased and slanderous that he decided to take part. He contributed money to create powerful websites to combat the lies of the UN report. Those websites were so persuasive that they were thought to have played a part in the UN Human Rights Commission delaying a discussion on the report.
More info on Joel Leyde says
Please note “Joel Leyden” is a notorious criminal, fraud, spammer, cybersquatter, cyberbully, identity thief, and harasser. He claims to be in the business of SEO and PR, and reputation management.
Here are just some of the reviews, complaints, legal documents, criminal reports, and other reports about Joel Leyden:
USA Consumer Complaints about Joel Leyden SEO
Complaint Board: National Consumer Complaint Forum
Criminal Legal Complaints against Joel Leyden
Documentation from the Victims
Joel Leyden: HARASSMENT, MALICIOUS FALSEHOOD AND LIBEL
Joel Leyden on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Israelbeach -he was blocked/banned from the site. Not a big deal, we publicly talked about it happening to many Jews and Israel supporters that are friends of this effort, but he attacks others for being blocked from a site that he was banned from? Hypocrisy
Suspected Sockpuppets of Joel Leyden:
The following are more aliases, DBA’s, and other entities in which he is involved or associated:
Leyden Digital” (leydendigital.com), “Israel News Agency” (israelnewsagency.com), “Israel PR” (israelpr.com), “Jewish PR” (jewishpr.co), “Israel SEO PR” (israelseopr.co), “Reputation Management PR” (reputationmanagementpr.com), “London SEO PR” (londonseopr.com), “israel Public Relations Institute” (groups.yahoo.com/group/Israelpr), “Internet Marketing SEO PR” (facebook.com/internetmarketingseopr), “Joel Leyden New York” (facebook.com/pages/Joel-Leyden-New-York/365115303605452), “Joel Leyden SEO PR” (joelleydenseopr.com), “Joel Leden” (joelleyden.net), “Leyden Communications Internet Marketing, SEO, Digital PR” (facebook.com/LeydenDigitalPRSEO), “Passover” (facebook.com/HappyPassover), “Hatikvah” (facebook.com/Hatikvah1), “Jerusalem – Capital of Israel” (facebook.com/jerusalemcapitalisrael), “Israel Humanitarian Aid” (facebook.com/IsraelHumanitarianAid), “Joel Leyden” (facebook.com/Joelonsrael), “Jewish Business Networking” (facebook.com/JewishBusinessNetworking), “Jewish Fathers” (facebook.com/JewishFathers), “Children 4 Israel (facebook.com/Children4Israel), “Israel News Agency” (facebook.com/IsraelNewsAgency), “I Support the Israel Defense Forces In Preventing Terror Attacks From Gaza” (facebook.com/groups/supportidfpreventterrorattacks), “Online Reputation PR” (onlinereputationpr.com), “Joel Leyden” (joel-leyden.com), “Joel Leyden SEO” (seojoelleyden.com) , “Joel Leyden LInkedin” (linkedin.com/in/joelleydendigitalprsocialmedia), “IsraelBeach YouTube” (youtube.com/user/Israelbeach), “Joel Leyden Slideshare” (slideshare.net/joelmleyden), “Joel Leyden” (joelleyden.org), “Joel Leyden” (blogger.com/profile/04624371724955110180), “Phillip Pasmanick’s Israel & Stuff” (facebook.com/ISRAELandStuff), “Fathers for Justice Israel” (groups.yahoo.com/group/fathers-4-justice-israel/, “Digital PR 4 Israel” (facebook.com/DigitalPR4Israel)
He often uses the same retorts or rebuttals (using fake names) against anyone criticizing him, or calling out his rampant online abuse. Some of these including:
He will claim whoever is making the complaint is being investigated by the FBI, CIA, Police, or other law enforcement agency
He will claim whoever criticizes him is in Iran
He will claim that who he’s “known Joel Leyden for 15 years
He will claim the complainant is guilty of libel and defamation
He will claim the complainant is a “professional con artist”
He will make up completely false information about people he suspects are complaining
He will falsely accuse people of hacking him and cyber-harassing him
He will falsely claim that he is a “highly respected” consultant in the Jewish community
He will falsely claim he served in the IDF as an officer in three wars
He will falsely claim he serves as a “senior advisor” for the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
He claims to be in the business of “reputation management”, but as you can see, it appears the only person’s reputation he tries to manage, is his own. Most of the top results for his name are for his own spammy duplicitous and crappy websites. So I urge everyone to review this information, and to help spread it, if you agree that Joel Leyden is indeed a threat that must be called out.