Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio Monday that good faith negotiations with the Palestinians can impede attempts to isolate Israel.
"It's important that it be clear that Israel is active in a real way," he said. "It can hinder the effectiveness of attempts to isolate us internationally."
Barak emphasized the primacy of the two-state solution. "With all the tumult in the Middle East, two states for two people is still the most preferable solution," he said. "The other alternatives are bad."
Even if Israel is unable to reduce tensions with its neighbors, Barak continued, it has a "responsibility" to try. "There's no reason not to work toward reducing tension with the Palestinians, with the Turks and the Egyptians. Even if it's not certain we'll see results."