Plus, a reader question about what job I'd want in government.

I’m Isaac Saul, and this is Tangle: an independent, nonpartisan, subscriber-supported politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from across the political spectrum on the news of the day — then “my take.”

Are you new here? Get free emails to your inbox daily. Would you rather listen? You can find our podcast here.

Today's read: 14 minutes.

Today, we're covering the latest on the war in Gaza and the relationship between Israel and the U.S. Plus, a reader question about what job I'd want in the U.S. cabinet.

From today's advertiser:

Looking for more than just politics but want balanced coverage just like Tangle? Try The Daily Upside.

Interested in what’s happening in the world of finance, economics and world business news? We’ve got the answer: The Daily Upside.

Founded and authored by a team of career journalists, experienced investment bankers and finance professionals, the team over at Tangle reads The Daily Upside. It’s your direct line to exclusive news, analysis and commentary on global business news.

Recent headlines include:

Join over 1 million daily readers who choose clarity over clickbait. Subscribe to the Daily Upside for free.

*If you don't want ads, you can subscribe to our ad-free newsletter here.

Thank you.

Thanks to all of you for entertaining our experiment with “our take” last week. I'm back in the U.S. now, feeling recharged and refreshed, and excited to jump back in. Before I do, a quick reminder about our Tangle Live event: General admission tickets are sold out, but you can still get them in two ways: enter to try to win two VIP tickets here (contest closes today!) or buy them for only $99 for our event in NYC on April 17!

Quick hits.

  1. Employers added 303,000 jobs in March, far more than economists' predictions of 200,000. The unemployment rate fell from 3.9% to 3.8%. (The numbers)
  2. Former President Trump shattered fundraising records by pulling in $50.5 million in one evening at the "Inaugural Leadership Dinner" in Palm Beach, Florida. (The fundraiser)
  3. A 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, on Friday, sending unusual tremors through New York City and down the East Coast as far south as Baltimore. (The quake)
  4. U.S. House and Senate leaders unveiled a bipartisan bill to regulate online privacy. (The bill)
  5. Former President Trump made a long-awaited statement on abortion, declining to endorse a national limit and instead saying the issue should be left up to the states. (The comments
  6. BONUS: A total solar eclipse will pass over 26 states in the U.S. today. It will be the last total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. for 20 years. (What to know)

Today's topic.

The latest on the war in Gaza. This Sunday marked six months since Hamas's attack in Israel on October 7, and the semi-anniversary comes at a major inflection point in the resulting war. In late March, the Biden administration had signed off on billions of dollars of bombs and jet transfers to Israel. But in a tense phone call on Thursday, President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that future U.S. military support for Israel would depend on the implementation of new steps to allow aid into Gaza and to protect civilians.

The 30-minute call came just days after an Israeli airstrike killed seven aid workers from celebrity chef José Andrés’s organization World Central Kitchen. Andrés said the workers had been communicating with Israeli officials and were traveling through a "deconflicted zone" in vehicles clearly marked with the group's name and emblem, but Israeli military officials said a drone team spotted what they thought was a weapon over the shoulder of one of the workers.

Israeli officials conducted an investigation, which they said found the drone team did not have enough evidence to order the strikes and deviated from standard operating procedures. The Israeli military dismissed two senior officers and reprimanded three others.

“It’s a tragedy,” military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said. “It’s a serious event that we are responsible for, and it shouldn’t have happened. And we will make sure that it won’t happen again.”

Nearly 200 humanitarian aid workers have been killed during the war, according to the United Nations, though the number killed by Israeli forces versus by Hamas fighters is unknown. Over 30,000 Palestinians have died in the war since October 7, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, and U.N. officials also estimate that one million Gazans are at risk of starvation.  Israel says it has killed over 10,000 Hamas fighters, and Netanyahu says a "total victory" in the war is in sight. An estimated 100 hostages are still being held in Gaza, and the Israeli war cabinet is facing increasing domestic pressure to secure their release.

On March 25, the United Nations passed a resolution demanding a ceasefire for the month of Ramadan and the release of all remaining hostages. While global calls for a ceasefire continue, Israel has already downsized its military operation, withdrawing more troops from southern Gaza on Sunday and conducting raids and airstrikes more intermittently. Some 30,000 Israeli troops were in Gaza in January, but just one brigade remains today, accounting for an estimated 4,000 troops. Netanyahu is still promising a final mission in Rafah to root out remaining Hamas fighters, but some one million Palestinians are seeking refuge in the region and world leaders have been demanding no such operation take place. Negotiations to release the remaining hostages could include a deal to hold off on any Rafah invasion or to allow Palestinians to return to northern Gaza.  

At the same time, the threat of a larger regional conflict has come to fruition. Israel and Hezbollah are actively fighting on the border of Lebanon and Iran is promising a major retaliation after an Israeli strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria, which killed several senior leaders of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. U.S. officials say they are expecting Iran to attack an Israeli diplomatic facility in retaliation before the end of Ramadan.

Today, we're going to share some arguments about the state of the war and U.S.-Israeli relations from the left and right in the U.S., as well as pieces from Israeli and Palestinian writers. Then, I’ll give my take.

What the right is saying.

  • The right says Israel must remain steadfast in its goal of completely destroying Hamas.
  • Many say further military action is needed to neutralize the threat Hamas could pose in the future.

In Fox News, David Marcus said “it’s time for Israel to finish off Hamas.”

“21st Century warfare, from Iraq to Afghanistan, from Ukraine to Gaza, is haunted by one elusive question: what does it mean to win? Our wars rarely end in ticker tape parades down canyons of heroes. Instead, they wither into dicey détentes and shaky status quos, just enough security to live with. But the attack of October 7 is not something Israel can just live with,” Marcus wrote. “Whether they are members of the war cabinet or taxi drivers, Israelis understand one thing: that however this fighting ends, it must not end with Hamas and its backers in Iran believing they have advanced the cause of destroying Israel.”

“After October 7, what winning the war against Hamas means became crystal clear. It could only be summed up by two words, emblazoned like a tattoo on the Jewish imagination, ‘Never Again.’ A crescendo is coming for the terrible conflict in Gaza. The clock is running for Israel to act, which means its actions must be all the more decisive. The only way this conflict can truly ever end is by meting out a punishment to terrorists so severe that they dare not unleash the inhumanity of October 7 ever again.”

In The New York Post, Gabriel Scheinmann and Michael Doran wrote “Biden is dreaming it’s like 1918, but Israel is fighting like it’s 1945.”

“In 1918, the United States and its allies sought a German surrender that would neutralize its war-making capabilities without having to transform its state and society. Leaving Germany unoccupied and its latent capacity for war intact, the armistice failed to establish a stable European order. A true solution to what contemporaries called the ‘German question’ came only after World War II,” Scheinmann and Doran said. “The Israelis believe, correctly, that only Hamas’ unconditional surrender, the dismantling of its military capabilities and the de-Hamasification of Gazan institutions will deliver a stable order.”

“Biden’s red line amounts to a call for a negotiated end to the war that will leave Hamas in de facto control over Gaza,” Scheinmann and Doran added.”Thanks to its control of the border with Egypt — the official crossing and the clandestine tunnels — its domination of Gaza’s economy will persist, and it will rearm. Naturally, it will fight against any effort to build a new order in Gaza. The Biden team’s answer to this challenge, rejected by Israeli leaders and the public alike, is for Israel to install a ‘reformed and revitalized’ Palestinian Authority in Gaza. But the idea the PA can or will work with Israel to suppress Hamas is a fantasy.”

What the left is saying.

  • The left mourns the ongoing loss of life in Gaza, with some suggesting Netanyahu’s decisions are imperiling Gazans now and Israelis in the long run.
  • Others call on Biden to take on a more active role in ending the war. 

In CNN, Frida Ghitis said “6 months since October 7, there are no winners here.” 

“Six months after Hamas launched that deadly rampage, knowing that Israel’s response would be ferocious, there are only losers in this terrible war. It's hard now to find many winners with the death toll mounting among Gazans and hunger growing in the strip. And with Israeli hostages still held captive, perhaps in dank Hamas tunnels. For Hamas, the fact that war continues may count as a victory, but thousands of Hamas’ fighters — the exact number is disputed — have been killed… but that’s no victory for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is under growing global pressure and besieged by protesters at home, and whose legacy will be forever darkened.”

“As always, the greatest suffering, the biggest losers, have been civilians on both sides. Palestinians in Gaza are enduring a living nightmare,” Ghitis wrote. “If there’s any glimmer of hope in this dispiriting landscape it is that the young Abraham Accords — which normalized relations between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors — have survived the toughest of stress tests. That augurs well for the long run, for more stability of the region, eventually… For that to happen, however, two of the many losing protagonists in this conflict, Hamas and Netanyahu, cannot remain in power.” 

In The Hill, Max Burns asked “has Israel’s moment of reckoning finally arrived?”

“The World Central Kitchen debacle should give the State Department pause to ask whether continued support for Israel’s war advances American interests in the region. Barring that, it should listen to the concerns of the American people, who disapprove of Israel’s wartime conduct by an eye-popping 19-point margin. It isn’t hard to see why. The war in Gaza is already a scene of uncoordinated carnage even by the standards of warfare.”

“The Biden presidency was supposed to mark America’s return to centering human rights issues in our international relations, a welcome change from Trump’s nihilistic foreign policy. If Biden still wants to claim that mantle, he must speak up now about the growing catastrophe in Gaza,” Burns said. “The war in Gaza is threatening the very foundations of Israeli democracy. The best way for Joe Biden to support Israel is to help stop its terrifying slide into an illiberal, authoritarian state.”

What Israeli and Palestinian writers are saying.

  • Palestinian writers implore world leaders to intervene to stop the devastation in Gaza.
  • Israeli writers are mixed on how the war should proceed, with some arguing a campaign of revenge will only hurt the country in the long run.

In Al Jazeera, Mariam Barghouti said “Palestinians and the world must not lose hope.”

“The feeling of numbness, of paralysis among Palestinians, is one of the aims of the Israeli ‘attrition’ strategy. A war of attrition is meant to create the conditions to drain, exhaust and weaken an opponent. It is meant to diminish the capacity to fight back. Israel’s goal is the emotional, moral and mental depletion of those resisting its occupation and colonisation so they lose motivation and commitment to engage and mobilise in the face of brute repression.”

“I do not think I will ever be able to fully explain what it is like to be a Palestinian – in all the shades of bruises we come in. It is not for the lack of words as much it is for the recognition that if I were to speak of the horrors, I am not confident that those who listen would bear to hear all the pain embedded in the Palestinian experience,” Barghouti wrote. “What stands between our eradication and our survival is you, the global community… Palestinians are not buried yet, and while the destruction is massive, so is the number of survivors with dreams to pursue, miracles to witness, and a faith in humanity to be re-instiled.”

In Haaretz, Maoz Inon wrote “Hamas murdered my parents. Six months later, Israel's war of revenge threatens us all.”

“Six months have now passed – to the day – since October 7, and Israel and Palestine are trapped in a war of revenge that is ruining both sides,” Inon said. “The war in Gaza, as described by the Israeli government has two objectives: to destroy Hamas and to return the hostages home. But six months into the war, it is clear that military strength will not destroy Hamas. Even if it were possible to kill its leaders, the ideological movement will remain, and it may well find new recruits that would now be even more motivated to harm Israelis.

“To destroy Hamas the people in Gaza need to be able to imagine secure and free living conditions, so they are not motivated to support a murderous organization. The way to do that is to form an international coalition of countries (including Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt) that, together with the Palestinian Authority, will take over the civilian responsibilities of Hamas in Gaza and start rebuilding it. By refusing to engage in such initiatives, the Israeli government is acting against the supposed purpose of the war of destroying Hamas.”

My take.

Reminder: "My take" is a section where I give myself space to share my own personal opinion. If you have feedback, criticism, or compliments, don't unsubscribe. Write in by replying to this email, or leave a comment.

  • The strike on the aid workers is an inflection point in this war.
  • Hamas should receive plenty of blame, and it should return the hostages — but that doesn’t absolve Israel.
  • I support calls from the U.S. to end the violence and bring a ceasefire, and I hope Netanyahu can heed those calls.

Every war has inflection points, and it appears we are seeing one in Gaza right now.

The strike on World Central Kitchen (WCK) volunteers will change the contours of what happens next — and it should. Some people, including WCK founder José Andrés, believe Israel struck the WCK workers intentionally because it genuinely wants to starve the Gazan people. If you believe that Israel’s goal is to make conditions there as unbearable and unlivable as possible, as Andrés does, then scaring off aid workers is a good way to do that. The implications and horror of an intentional strike are self-evident and need no explanation.

But believing this was an accident, as I do, is no comfort either. In some ways it is scarier. If Israel is capable of erring so badly as to kill seven volunteer aid workers from one of the most well known humanitarian groups on the planet, who were communicating directly with the IDF and traveling on a route that was supposed to be safe, then what other mistakes are they making? How many similar errors have gone unreported because the dead were Palestinian and the typical systems for reporting such mistakes — a free press, reliable international aid groups, or trustworthy local governments — are nowhere to be found in Gaza? We already know Israel has accidentally killed three Israeli hostages, and now they have accepted blame for this strike, too (despite some "military analysts" initially insisting Israel was not responsible).

When I made the Zionist case for a ceasefire a few weeks ago, I argued that Israel was losing to Hamas not on the physical battlefield, but in the war of ideas — the one where Hamas is convincing the world that Israel is a genocidal ethnostate hellbent on mass horror, and that it needed to be eliminated. Hamas leaders apparently also believe they are winning that war. Incidents like this only aid them. Every day that this unusually complicated war goes on — one in a densely populated area with hostages and underground tunnels and hidden combatants — the likelihood of another incident like this increases.

While the World Central Kitchen strike may have been the most politically damaging piece of news about Israel’s military operations in recent weeks, it may not have even been the most horrifying. An investigation from the independent Israeli news organization 972+ landed a report on an artificial intelligence system. The system is called Lavender. Israeli officials are relying on it to bomb militants at night in their homes because finding them in public during the day is more difficult. The system is also prone to errors, linking tangentially related Palestinians to militant groups, casting a wide net for strikes that has had very little human oversight.

These stories aren't just bad PR, they’re just plain bad. And Israel’s problems appear to be systemic. I will continue to insist that Israel should count its victories against Hamas militants now, end its military incursion, begin a renewed peace process, and try to salvage whatever is left of its global standing.

A lot of my readers disagree with me, with some arguing that I do too little to emphasize the role Hamas has played in this conflict. I abhor Hamas and I blame it for its role, but I recognize that I don’t repeat that argument enough, and that it’s important to restate: Hamas does embed itself in civilian centers, it does kill its own people, and it does reject ceasefire deals. Hamas did take hostages, and it did spark this bout of violence with the worst single-day attack on Israel since its founding. To me, these are all perfectly valid points that can co-exist with the fact that, six months later, Israel has gone beyond what most of the world and most of the U.S. finds acceptable. All you have to do is look at the global reactions, the U.N. votes for a ceasefire, or public polling in America to see this.

To be absolutely clear: Hamas is a genocidal organization who knew exactly what would happen when it conducted its attack in October (and is probably getting exactly what it wanted). I genuinely believe Hamas leaders have no real interest in the cause of Palestinian freedom, but instead are hoping to stoke a regional conflict that can wipe out Israel in a massive war and increase Iran’s power in the Arab world. 

Many of those Hamas leaders are effectively Arab oligarchs living on the outside of this conflict giving interviews from places like Qatar, and they will continue to be insulated from the consequences of their decisions in this war. The fact that Gazans are starving while Hamas still has the funds to shoot rockets into Israel or Iranian proxies still have the money to fight Israel on nearly every front should tell you everything you need to know about their priorities.

Meanwhile, of the 250 hostages originally taken by Hamas, at least 36 have been confirmed dead, about half have been released, and another 100 still remain in Gaza. I don’t think anyone should expect Israel to relent without the certainty that all the remaining hostages will be freed. Hamas must release the remaining hostages as part of any ceasefire deal, and, given its current advantages, Israel should take any ceasefire deal that involves the release of those hostages. 

That brings us back to where we started: Nothing about Hamas’s actions excuses or absolves Israel for its wrongs. We should hold Israel to a high standard because it is an ally who receives our government’s military funding, full-throated support and because Israel insists it has the most moral army in the world

Ultimately, what happens next is up to Netanyahu, his war cabinet, and Hamas. But the U.S. can try to exert their significant leverage to get the hostages home and end this spate of violence. I think they should turn the screws even tighter on Netenyahu and apply maximum pressure to bring an end to what we are seeing, which I genuinely believe is making Israel, Jews, and Palestinians all less safe. I hope the end of violence is imminent. But I’m less optimistic than I’ve ever been.

Disagree? That's okay. My opinion is just one of many. Write in and let us know why, and we'll consider publishing your feedback.

Take the survey: What do you think of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza? Let us know!

Help share Tangle.

I'm a firm believer that our politics would be a little bit better if everyone were reading balanced news that allows room for debate, disagreement, and multiple perspectives. If you can take 15 seconds to share Tangle with a few friends I'd really appreciate it — just click the button below and pick some people to email it to!

Your questions, answered.

Q: Due to an interesting twist, I am going to be the next President. Don't worry about how or those pesky constitutional criteria — those details are not relevant. You get first dibs on any position in the Executive Branch you would like. If necessary, the Senate will confirm you, no worries there.

Which one would you like? Why? What are the new strategies for your office?

— Michael from Odenton, Maryland

Tangle: I love this question. And I think I have two different answers.

My first pick might surprise you: Vice president. Why? Well, in this hypothetical, I’m still me — Isaac. Which means I don’t have any aspirations to pursue some kind of long-term political career. So my first thoughts go to, “What is the cushiest job, with the most access, the least responsibility, but still a great deal of influence?” Being vice president — getting to be in the room, to bend the president’s ear, and to hear all the secrets — sounds pretty nice. So does the $235,000 salary.

Realistically, it’s a job that would also mean I’d get to travel all across the globe and meet world leaders, which seems enormously engaging. I’d get to take on pet projects. I’d potentially get to break ties on consequential votes in the Senate. And I’d probably have the most freedom to carve out my own agenda items. 

As for new strategies, I’m not sure I’d pursue any, other than acting without having to worry about my political future. That’d be novel and liberating, and I think I could throw my weight around in ways other vice presidents haven’t.

My second answer is Director of National Intelligence. And the reason for that is simple: It’s the role where I would learn the most about the things that are the hardest to find out the truth about. There is so much we don’t know about the way our intelligence agencies work, and so much information I’d love to access that only the DNI gets to see. It would give me a unique ability to really see a part of American governance that is so hard to pull the curtain back on. Plus, you know I’d go straight to the UFO files.

More seriously, I also think I could introduce a new strategy for my office that actually focused on eliminating wasteful spending and increasing transparency. We live in an era of over-classification and over-secrecy, and as DNI I’d do my best to show Americans more of the work that goes into the day-to-day life of intelligence agencies, which I think would help grow trust and appreciation for that kind of work. Of course, “increasing transparency” might be one of the most commonly broken promises of anyone who ends up in a position with a lot of access, but it’d certainly by my intent.

Want to have a question answered in the newsletter? You can reply to this email (it goes straight to my inbox) or fill out this form.

Under the radar.

President Biden could face ballot eligibility issues in Ohio, according to ABC News. Legal counsel for Frank LaRose, the Secretary of State in Ohio, called out an apparent conflict in Ohio law with the Democratic National Committee's nominating process. Right now, the Democratic National Convention is scheduled to convene on August 19, 12 days after the August 7 deadline to certify a presidential candidate in Ohio. That could put Biden's eligibility at risk. While Ohio is considered a lock for former President Trump, no Biden on the ballot could impact the hotly contested Senate race between Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican Bernie Moreno. ABC News has the story.


  • 2,000. The approximate number of MK82 bombs and small-diameter bombs the U.S. sent to Israel in late March.
  • 25. The number of F-35A fighter jets and engines sent to Israel, worth approximately $2.5 billion.
  • 50%. The percentage of Americans who said they approved of Israel’s military action in Gaza in November 2023, according to Gallup.
  • 36%. The percentage of Americans who said they approved of Israel’s military action in Gaza in March 2024.
  • 31%. The percentage of Americans who say they sympathize with Israelis more than Palestinians in the conflict, according to a new survey from Pew Research.
  • 47%. The percentage of Americans age 65+ who sympathize more with Israelis. 
  • 33%. The percentage of Americans ages 18-29 who sympathize more with Palestinians.

The extras.

Yesterday’s survey: 707 readers answered our survey on the Florida abortion rulings with 61% disagreeing with allowing a ban on abortions after six weeks to be enacted but agreeing with allowing the amendment to protect abortion access to be put to a vote. “Government has no business telling people how they should run their own lives,” one respondent said.

What do you think of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza? Let us know!

Have a nice day.

Russell Cook, a 27-year-old from West Sussex, England, just completed the daunting task of running the entire length of the African continent from south to north — a journey of over 10,000 miles that crossed the Sahara Desert. In 352 days. Cook, who is nicknamed “The Hardest Geezer,” endured an armed robbery, visa issues, and a temporary hospitalization in order to complete his journey and raise over £700,000 for charity. “I’m pretty tired,” Cook told reporters. The BBC has the story.

Don't forget...

📣 Share Tangle on Twitter here, Facebook here, or LinkedIn here.

🎥 Follow us on Instagram here or subscribe to our YouTube channel here

💵 If you like our newsletter, drop some love in our tip jar.

🎉 Want to reach 100,000+ people? Fill out this form to advertise with us.

📫 Forward this to a friend and tell them to subscribe (hint: it's here).

🛍 Love clothes, stickers and mugs? Go to our merch store!

Subscribe to Tangle

Join 100,000+ people getting Tangle directly to their inbox!

Isaac Saul
I'm a politics reporter who grew up in Bucks County, PA — one of the most politically divided counties in America. I'm trying to fix the way we consume political news.