Just a day before Barak was scheduled to meet Mitchell and other officials in New York, the Defense Ministry approved the construction of a massive 1,450-unit development in the settlement of Adam.
The move amounts to slapping Obama, who demands a settlement freeze, and is even odder coming from Barak, who normally opposes the settlements.
It seems that Netanyahu and Barak have become unlikely allies against Obama, whom both despise deeply now that the initial respect and goodwill has faded away.
After months of diplomatic fighting, an Israeli freeze on settlement construction would now be a major victory for the Palestinians. Having launched and lost wars with Israel, they now set the settlement freeze as a precondition of peace talks with Jews.