Haaretz wraps up the story here. It's not clear who the precise idiots were: Netanyahu apparently saw it coming and warned Eli Yishai, the relevant cabinet minster, not to screw up during Biden's visit; Yishai now claims the officials under him didn't inform him about the pending decision - which is a lame excuse at best; probably a dishonest excuse; and if true, shows that Yishai is an abysmal manager. Which he isn't, so I expect his apology is dishonest.
So we created an opportunity for everyone from the American Vice President down through the EU suits all the way to the boss of the UN to condemn us - and for what? What was gained? Nothing. (Though come to think of it, how do we know who's lower on the totem pole, the UN or the EU? Just asking).
That's one side of the story.
The more important side of the story is that it demonstrates how warped the dynamic has become. Some bureaucrats pushed some papers on the way to eventually building housing for some 10,000 haredi Jews in Jerusalem, and there's world-wide condemnation? What? Huh?
I'll be uncustomarily blunt. Jerusalem was invented by Jews. It is known worldwide because of Jews. It's significance for Jews is greater - far, far greater - than the significance of London for the English, Washington or New York for the Americans, or Mecca for the Muslims (that last one is probably the closest example, however). There have been Jews living in Jerusalem for most of the past 3,000 years, often as the majority, and when not as the majority, often because they were expelled or slaughtered or both. A plausible case could be made that if the Jews could choose between owning Jerusalem with war, or not owning Jerusalem with peace, the former would be preferable - and keep in mind that for the Palestinians there's no question at all that they prefer war with a dream of Jerusalem over peace without it.
At the moment, however, no-one is offering the Jews peace for giving up ownership of Jerusalem. Not, not, not. The current narrative beloved by the international community is a simple lie. It's not true. Here's another piece by an Israeli centrist expert on the Mideast, to continue yesterday's thread - Barry Rubin, this time.
The best way to stop building on, and even fully remove, settlements on the West Bank would be to make a peace treaty in which all settlements would be removed from the territory of a Palestinian state. (Though, with Palestinian agreement, some could be incorporated into Israel as part of territory swaps. Indeed, the Obama Administration has accepted this idea.)The Palestinians want all Israeli settlement activity to cease? That's easy. Agree to make peace with Israel, and there will be no more "illegal" settlements. it's that simple. Really.
In the meantime, while everyone tells us we're so awful and horrendous, the Jews are strengthening their presence in Jerusalem. Seen from the perspective of any arbitrary moment in the past 2,000 years, that's awesome.
Postscript: Here are two articles such as you'll never read in non-Israeli media, examining the issues from the opposite perspective. One, two.