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"Rabin was a special symbol for us," Israeli author David Grossman told TIME's Sam Allis. "He was our mythological Sabra. He symbolized a certain uniqueness in the Israeli people. This was murdered today. He was very simple, very straight-forward. His Hebrew was rough. He was a man of action, not of words. That was his charm in the eyes of Israel. He expressed exactly what he thought." Grossman predicted in September that there would be bloodshed between the Israeli government and right-wing extremists, Allis recalls, citing the Israelis who called Rabin "murderer" and "a traitor."