Gold Coast Jewish Family caught in HAMAS HORROR

WORDS: Steve Hunt PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

On October 7, Gold Coast executive Adam Simons, father of 3 children, Claudia, Natalie and Dean froze when news reports emerged of a massacre at a music festival in southern Israel. As news filtered in that up to 364 festival goers had been slaughtered by Hamas terrorists after infiltrating Israeli territory from nearby Gaza, Adam’s thoughts went from fear to dread.

“My daughter Claudia and son Dean who both live in Israel were supposed to be at that festival,” recalls Adam. “There were kids singing and dancing and then thousands of terrorists came in and slaughtered them. Claudia and her girlfriend have worked with the main organisers of the Supernova festival, but her girlfriend had to go to Brazil, so she decided not to go. And so Dean didn’t go either or Claudia’s partner, my son-in-law. My son’s girlfriend would have been there but thanks to a small chain of events they were spared.”

Claudia, Dean and their generation of Israelis have been traumatised by the horrors that occurred that day. As well as the entirety of Israel. Everyone that lives there has family or friends that were directly or indirectly in the line of fire. “Claudia knows more than 50 people who are either dead, kidnapped or injured,” says Adam. “She’s like a zombie right now. I’m so nervous about her. She’s completely traumatized. In fact, the whole of Israel is traumatized.”

“So many Israelis have seen the footage in real-time of Hamas executing innocent civilians – babies, children, women and men. The terrorists took photos of what they did on the phones of their victims, and under gunpoint and by torture they took the phones off the kidnapped civilians. They made the kids from the festival give them the passcode before they raped, tortured and slaughtered them in the most unthinkable ways.”

“The terrorists videoed themselves executing and beheading babies, raping and killing children and women and torturing young men on their civilian captives’ phones, and then they sent the footage to the entire contact list on their phone so everyone could see. So the parents were seeing their kids getting murdered or raped or both. I can’t even imagine what the parents are going through that have lost their loved ones in such a horrific way.”

Adam is one of more than 100,000 Jewish residents who call Australia home. Born in Sydney, he grew up in Bondi, attending Rose Bay Public School and Cranbrook School in his senior years. His father Mike Simons was a highly successful businessman, building a business empire under the Simons Carpets brand which his grandfather and brothers founded. Mike grew the business into more than 120 retail stores across Australia in the 1970s and 1980s.

“My dad was an amazing guy and he was very involved with the Jewish community in Sydney,” says Adam. Adam said his childhood was ‘normal Australian’ and his only experience of anti-Semitism was more borne from ignorance than an outright hatred of Jews. “I’d get kids coming up to me now and again and say to me, ‘you’re a f…..g Jew’  – but these kids weren’t anti-Semitic – they were just saying dumb stuff that they’d heard at home,” recalls Adam.

“I’d go home and tell my dad and he’d say: ‘Adam, they’re just repeating stuff they don’t know anything about. So, what I want you to ask them is if they really believe what they are saying, and if that’s what they believe, then you have my permission to punch them in the nose’. I ended up getting suspended a few times for punching a few people in the nose, but on the whole, I didn’t experience anti-Semitism like other Jews experienced in previous generations or like in World War II.”

Adam says his family considers themselves fortunate that they were not part of the Holocaust, directly at least. “My family go back to England three generations before me. I was born here and before that, we go back to Poland and Russia,” he says. “As a kid, I learned what happened in World War II where six million Jews perished in the Holocaust at the hands of Hitler’s Nazis.”

“My grandmother started a group that managed to smuggle Jewish kids from Europe, through France, to safety in England. In all, she saved more than 500 Jewish boys and became a ‘mum’ to many of them. I met some of them growing up and I heard their stories of what they went through, and it was just horrific.”

“When I was 10 this guy called Izzy came to visit and stay with us from New York. We took him to a Chinese restaurant. My parents and my grandmother noticed that he kept putting his hand on my head and stroking my head. My mum said, ‘You’re very fond of Adam’ and he just looked at my mum and said: ‘His nature just reminds me so much of my sister who died during the Holocaust’. He recounted a story of him being pulled out of line by the Nazis in Auschwitz when he was a little younger than I was. They had taken boys ahead of him and shot them in front of a pit where they were then stacked on top of each other, dead! His older sister who was about my age of 10 ran to the SS Gestapo officer begging them and saying please don’t kill my brother. In an instant without a word, he turned and then shot her instead and he lived. Somehow, I reminded him of his sister. God bless her soul.”

“So we were acutely aware of what happened and as kids, we enjoyed Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, where many family and friends would gather and spend time enjoying each other’s company. My grandmother was the best cook, and she made this dinner for 30-40 people every Friday night until I was 17. The Shabbat dinner perpetuated to my mother, and then my generation, and now my kids. We were all very close and we bonded together.”

Adam waves his arms in despair when asked why there is such animosity to the Jews. “Trying to understand why the Jews have been persecuted throughout history is very hard to understand,” he said. “I don’t know, before World War II it could have been because of jealousy, because the Jews in Germany and Europe at that time worked hard and were successful and many became wealthy. But in reality, they just wanted to secure a future for their family. And so they did that in a very strong way and they worked hard to achieve this. Then there are the conspiracy theories that the Jews are less than one percent of the global population and they control everything, which is just ridiculous.”

Adam says he is mortified at the education of young children in Gaza and other Arab countries to hate Jews. “What I’ve learned is that they are indoctrinated in their youth and the hatred of Jews has become inter-generational. Children are shown cartoons at school saying that killing Jews is a good thing. They’re putting bandanas around kids giving them mock and sometimes real AK 47s and putting flags next to them and getting them to chant ‘death to the Jews’. In contrast, we don’t get cartoons telling us to kill Arabs.”

Adam cites the leader of Hamas, Yahya Sinwar, who in 1989 was jailed for life for the abduction and murder of two Israeli soldiers. Sinwar was released from jail in 2011 in a prisoner exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, but not before his life was saved by Israeli surgeons who removed a tumour from his brain. “He was released from jail and is alleged to be the ringleader behind the October 7 atrocities,” says Adam. “Israel wants peace. Golda Meir the former Israeli Prime Minister once said, ‘We will have peace in our times when Arabs love their children more than they hate us’,” says Adam. “But here’s the reverse quote of the Israelis: ‘Jews love their children more than they hate the terrorists. We value life, whereas they value death’.”

Adam says Claudia and Dean have no intention of leaving Israel, but he worries about their mental health in light of what occurred on October 7. He Facetimes them daily to check-in. “I feel more connected to Israel now more than ever because my kids are there,” he says. “No one can tell you how it’s going to play out but Hamas, who have been in charge of Gaza since 2006, have to go. And Israel is going to be traumatised by this for many years to come. It is heartbreaking.”




  • Palestine has never been a country, it was a region
  • It doesn’t have its own language – Palestinians speak Arabic
  • More than 21% of Israeli citizens are Palestinian / Arabs who peacefully live and love living in Israel as it’s the only democratic country in the Middle East. They support and fight for Israel and are in the IDF
  • The highest court judge in Israel is a Palestinian
  • Members of the Israeli parliament are Palestinian
  • Israel has been the domain of the Jews since way before 1100BC
  • That was 1800 years before Islam even began as a religion
  • The Jews had their temple built in Jerusalem by David’s son Solomon shortly after 1100 BC
  • Jerusalem has been invaded by the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, The Romans, the Crusaders, the Muslims and the Ottomans over its 3000-plus year history
  • The Jews had their temple destroyed twice – by the Babylonians in 586 BC and the Romans after Christ in AD 70
  • Even with such a long history, some still claim the Jews don’t have any right to be there
  • Jesus Christ was a Jew (Jews were the predominant race living in the region 2000 years ago while under occupation by the Romans)
  • Jesus was born in a manger in a town called Bethlehem – a Hebrew name
  • Contrary to revisionist history, Israel did not begin in 1948