U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement after receiving notification that the PGA TOUR, American Public Media, and CNBC will continue accepting advertising from Allianz despite Allianz's refusal to address the rights of Holocaust survivors seeking to make claims on Holocaust-era insurance policies:
"Allianz is flush with advertising dollars, but continues to make excuse after excuse to avoid paying claims on Holocaust-era policies being made by Holocaust survivors. By continuing to do business with Allianz and accepting payments for their advertising, companies are missing an opportunity to stand up for justice and the rights of Holocaust survivors.
"In 2008, Allianz lost its bid for naming rights for new Meadowlands Stadium after the parties involved became aware of public outrage related to Allianz's handling of Holocaust-era claims. It is extremely disappointing that this year, several organizations have chosen to stand with Allianz instead of siding with Holocaust survivors. These Holocaust survivors are only asking for the opportunity to be heard in U.S. courts and for Allianz and other insurance companies to honor their obligations and pay the survivors the funds they are owed.
"It is my hope that these organizations will re-evaluate their decisions and condition their relationship with Allianz on Allianz's fulfillment of its obligations to Holocaust survivors."
NOTE: H.R. 890, the Tom Lantos Justice for Holocaust Survivors Act, was authored by Ros-Lehtinen with her Florida colleague U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and unanimously passed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on March 7, 2012. This bipartisan measure, which currently has 82 co-sponsors, would allow survivors to avail themselves of state laws passed to allow them to have their day in court and to require European insurance companies conducting business in those states to disclose Nazi-era insurance policy information. The measure also establishes a federal right of action to recover proceeds due under the covered policies.