Ali Abunimah is a well-known Chicago-based activist for Palestinian causes. He has a harshly anti-Israel attitude. He has also written that he had met Obama about half a dozen times at various Palestinian and Arab-American events, including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which the late Edward Said was the keynote speaker (there is a photo of Said with Senator Obama and his wife).(One of Said's heirs at Columbia is Prof. Mahmood Mamdani) And Obama's recent speeches bear out this anti-Israel tilt, though he seems to mute it and distance himself from his philosophical allies when he's campaigning, as Lasky also notes in his piece. Obama speaks of the Palestinians as victims, but he has been silent on their new textbooks which wipe Israel off the map and celebrate martyrdom. Others have questioned his approach to foreign policy, his tendency toward appeasement.
Edward Said was a severe critic of Israel; he developed a school of study about the Middle East based on denunciation of so-called "Orientalism" that has influenced many Middle Eastern professors to take an anti-Israel view. The entire field of Middle Eastern studies has been so corrupted that Congress has raised an alarm about federal funding going to professors with an anti-American, anti-Israel agenda. These are the ideological heirs of Edward Said.
Obama distanced himself (actually it was his spokesperson) from billionaire George Soros' recent ill-judged remarks, but will he turn down or return his campaign contributions this time around? Soros also has a nasty history. And Obama has a history with Soros.
UPDATE: Nation of Islam leader and Chicagoan Minister Louis Farrakhan, who traveled with Obama's pastor to Libya some years ago. Video of Farrakhan supporting Iran's quest for nuclear weapons on Al Jazeera, "The Time for the Chastisement of Allah is Here".
UPDATE: In his speech in Chicago, Obama ignored Hamas terrorism. Here's how Hamas educates their children.