Deposed President Hosni Mubarak had sided with the secular nationalist Fatah controlling the West Bank in its rivalry with Hamas, and his successor, Mohamed Morsi, a former Brotherhood leader, was expected to back his fellow Islamists in the Gaza Strip.

But Morsi’s election didn’t bring the closer relations and support Hamas had expected. The new Egyptian president appears to be a big disappointment for the Gaza-based terrorist group and an unintentionally pleasant surprise for Israel.

It’s not that Morsi likes Israel that much. In a 2010 video he called Jews “blood-suckers” and “descendants of apes and pigs,” and when a group of visiting US senators brought it up recently, he said his comments were distorted by the Jewish-controlled media.

Love us or not, he’s apparently decided it is in his and Egypt’s best interest to get along with Israel – and the United States – even if it is at the expense of his brethren in Hamas.

Egypt has many problems internally – its economy is in the pits and public anger is rising in the face of restrictive Islamist rule; lawlessness in spreading the Sinai and policemen in the cities are going on strike – and the last thing Morsi wants is for Hamas to drag him into a war with Israel.