KING CYRUS: Why did the Israeli group really mint a coin with Trump’s image to honor Jerusalem recognition?
Israeli group mints Trump coin to honor Jerusalem recognition
Mikdash Educational Center creates 1,000 coins with US president’s image alongside King Cyrus, in move likely to rile Iranians
By AP and TOI STAFF
An educational organization focusing on the Jewish Temple said Wednesday it has minted a coin bearing US President Donald Trump’s image to honor his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Mikdash Educational Center said the “Temple Coin” features Trump alongside King Cyrus, who 2,500 years ago allowed Jews to return to Jerusalem from their exile in Babylon.
The Trump coin is likely to rile Iranians, who uniformly respect King Cyrus as an ancient Persian hero.
Rabbi Mordechai Persoff of the Israeli group, which also holds activities in the US, said that Trump, like Cyrus, made a “big declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of the holy people.”
His organization minted 1,000 biblical half-shekel coins that can be purchased with a minimum donation of $50. The coin cannot be used as currency.
Mikdash bills itself as a non-profit educational and religious organization. The donations will “help spread the light of Jerusalem and the spirit of the Holy Temple throughout the world,” it said.
Trump’s December 6 declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing plans to relocate the embassy there was met with Israeli praise and international condemnation.
That same month the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the administration’s move and calling on countries not to move their diplomatic missions to the city.
But on Friday, the US State Department notified Congress that the Jerusalem embassy would open in May to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence, speeding up the process by converting a building currently housing consular services into the embassy.