On Shabbat, November 4, 1995, Ehud Barak and I were in New York. Entirely by chance, we were staying on the same floor of the same hotel. When I returned to the hotel that afternoon after an event at the consulate, I saw Barak and his aides congregated at the entrance of their suite. “What are you celebrating?” I asked. Barak, with a serious expression, looked me straight in the eye and asked, “What, haven’t you heard? Rabin was assassinated.”
After the shock and the questions – how did it happen, what and who – Barak asked me to come into his room, and asked if I knew what happened to a government in such a situation. Does it become a transition government where nobody enters or leaves, and if so, can ministers change portfolios? Unfortunately, I didn’t have an answer, but from what I understood from his question, he was trying to figure out whether he could get the defense portfolio instead of the Interior Ministry while Yitzhak Rabin’s body was still in Ichilov Hospital.