In Illinois, a vocal Holocaust-denying, white supremacist, anti-Semite is running for Congress. Even though Republicans are distancing themselves from him, Arthur Jones is poised to become the Republican nominee for the 3rd congressional district in Southwest Chicago.
Jones has been running for this seat since the 1990s and never been considered a serious contender, but this year is slightly different. He is running unopposed in the primary which will be held on March 20. Unless the Republican party can find a way to get him off the ballot, which they did in 2016, or there is a successful write-in candidate, Jones is expected to be the party’s nominee.
Jones formerly led the American Nazi Party and currently leads the America First Committee (AFC). In 1980, Jones left American Nazi Party to revive the AFC “to combat the dual evils of Communism and Zionism.” He told the Chicago Sun Times in an interview Tuesday that “membership in this organization is open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent.” He has routinely referred to the Jewish state as “racist criminal Zionist Israel.”
The 70-year-old retired insurance salesman has a section on his website called “Holocaust?”. He told the Sun Times, “Well first of all, I’m running for Congress not the chancellor of Germany. All right. To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket.”
According to a backgrounder prepared by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL):
Arthur Jones is a long-time neo-Nazi, based in Illinois, who has been involved with anti-Semitic and racist groups since the 1970s. He has participated in numerous extremist events, including neo-Nazi rallies and celebrations of Adolf Hitler’s birthday throughout his career. Jones is also a Holocaust denier who has said that the Holocaust is a lie “and nothing more than an international extortion racket by the Jews.”
The Sun-Times explained that Illinois’s third Congressional District is one of the “most heavily Democratic” districts in the state, discouraging Republicans from fielding a credible candidate.
Republican spokespeople have distanced themselves from Jones. Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said: “The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District.” Maddie Anderson, spokeswoman for the National Republican Congressional Committee said Jones is a “fringe candidate who has no real connection to the GOP.”
Jones’s nomination and the rise of other extremist candidates reflect the recent increase in anti-Semitic, anti-Israel incidents in the United States. According to the ADL, anti-Semitic incidents in the first nine months of 2017 rose 67 percent over the same period of the previous year.
[Photo: ABC 7 Chicago / YouTube]