Statement: Black Inc. Books


Content warning: anti-Palestine sentiments, Zionism in no explicit detail.


Recently, we were scrutinised for publishing reviews of books by Black Inc. Books, a publishing house based here in Melbourne, due to claims of anti-Palestine sentiments and the censorship of Palestinian voices in their in-house publishing practices. First and foremost, Farrago does not share these Zionist views. We have been publishing reviews of books from Black Inc. for years—a relationship instigated by editorial teams from long before our term. We uncritically inherited this relationship, and for that, we sincerely apologise. However, we do not believe that reviewing books as sent to us through our subscription to a media press list equates to our support of Morry Schwartz’s views.

Black Inc. is an imprint of Schwartz Media, publisher of various notable titles like The Saturday Paper, The Monthly and Australian Foreign Affairs. The founder of Schwartz media, Morry Schwartz, has been criticised for his internal refusal to comment on matters of criticism towards Israel. Overland, in their 2014 article, “Palestine and the Saturday Paper'' referred to a quote of Schwartz’s where regarding the Israel Palestine conflict he said, ‘just don’t touch it’. Consequently, it's been reported that pro-Palestine voices have been omitted and censored across the company’s various intellectual property. Whilst Morry Schwartz may not have direct editorial involvement with Black Inc. Books, we acknowledge that organisational culture and views can be set top-down internally.

Farrago also believes in engaging with content from across an ideological board. We don't want dangerous rhetoric to exist in a vacuum—we want to engage with, criticise and publicise our dissections. We have students from multiple disciplines who use their backgrounds and skills to dissect political, science and historical content from Black Inc. Books. To review a text is to engage critically with it, even scrutinise it: this doesn’t mean we’re condoning it or its publisher. Furthermore, this imprint has been a source of vital non-fiction content exploring the lives and experiences of several minority groups in Australia, alongside relevant and cutting-edge research in the social sciences. For instance, we’ve recently received a review copy of The Shortest History of the Soviet Union. We believe this is an important, informative text that will provoke discussion on the current war. We also have a review in the works for The Ethical Investor, a text which we hope would stimulate meaningful conversation on ethics in the financial industry alongside ideas of divestment. Furthermore, we have requested copies of books on essential minority issues, from We’ve Got This: Stories by Disabled Parents to Growing up in Country Australia, that we want to engage with and share.   

This is not to say we do not believe the criticisms on social media. Farrago has done further investigation regarding the claims of Black. Inc Books shutting out Palestinian authors. Whilst we can't prove anything, we’ve seen the various accounts from authors on social media confirming that Black Inc. Books would not publish their works regarding Palestine. Black Inc Books’ statement ascribes these rumours as false; however, we believe the authors criticising this statement.

We have done our research and consulted various members of our collective to come to our decision. Farrago will continue to review books from publishers across Australia, including Black Inc. Books as part of our approach to student media. We want to encourage debate and discussion, and give students a platform to critically approach media and publishing. We believe this is our duty and purpose. That being said, student media is a safe space for open and productive discussion, and we welcome any suggestions regarding how to navigate this complex situation.

Please feel free to get in contact with us at


We recognise that the contents discussed in this statement may be distressing to some readers. We encourage students to seek support from the University’s Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) or UMSU Advocacy for advice if this affects their studies.  

Access UniMelb’s Counselling and Psychological Services (CAPS) here.

Contact UMSU Advocacy here.

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