Let's be clear. Though softened a bit under George W. Bush, US policy since 1967 has considered Israeli settlements an obstacle to peace. Through the Reagan Administration, the US routinely abstainedon, rather than vetoed, UNSC Resolution similar to the recent one. John Kerry's recent speech reiterated often restated positions: that failing a two-state solution, Israel will eventually have to choose between democracy and n apartheid state, a position supported by many Israelis.
Whether taking a strong stand at this late date will have much effect is surely debatable, and the upcoming French initiative may indeed be what Netanyahu really fears, but the uproar this week has really made clear how much Netanyahu's defiant attitude to the US has seemingly deranged Israeli policy.