To Jabotinsky, a Jewish home in Palestine was justified by events past and present. The Romans had expelled the Jews from their homeland two millennia prior, condemning them to an eternity of wandering and depending on the sufferance of other peoples. Virtually every inhabitable corner of the globe was populated by someone, he wrote, and the Jews had historical, spiritual, and emotional ties to one land alone.
"[S]elf-determination does not mean that if someone has seized a stretch of land it must remain in his possession for all time, and that he who was forcibly ejected from his land must always remain homeless," Jabotinsky wrote in his best-known work, the 1923 essay "The Iron Wall," which remains central to Revisionists' ideas about Israeli defense policy to this day. "Self-determination means revision -- such a revision of the distribution of the earth among the nations that those nations who have too much should have to give up some of it to those nations who have not enough or who have none, so that all should have some place on which to exercise their right of self-determination."
Jabotinsky predicted that the Arabs would overwhelmingly reject the Jewish state and actively work to destroy it, stopping only once they realized the Jewish state was an established fact that could not be undone. As for the Arabs of Palestine itself, he did not believe a Jewish state need result in their displacement; the Revisionists expected a large Arab minority in their future state, and the essay explicitly calls for equal rights for all.
Revisionist Zionists originally insisted all of the British Mandate of Palestine -- including modern-day Jordan -- be part of the Jewish home, both to accommodate the millions of Jews they anticipated would immigrate and to ensure the state had defensible boundaries. The demand for Jordan has faded into obscurity, but many latter-day Jabotinskyites still insist Jordan is the only permissible homeland for the Arabs of the area once known as Mandatory Palestine.
As Netanyahu is inescapably his father's son, his father was Jabotinsky's apt pupil. In 1939, Benzion persuaded the Revisionist leader to move from London to New York, and there Benzion served as Jabotinsky's personal secretary until his mentor's death the following year. The elder Netanyahu spent World War II shuttling between New York and Washington, alerting lawmakers to the dark reports emerging from Europe on the fate of the continent's Jews and lobbying on the merits of the Jewish national idea. His efforts paid off: In 1944, the Republican Party added support for Zionism to its campaign platform, followed shortly after by the Democrats.
But Benzion and his colleagues would not win every battle. The Revisionists furiously opposed the U.N.-sponsored partition of the land west of the Jordan River into a Jewish state and an Arab state, holding out for the entire territory even at the risk of losing it all. Meanwhile, the mainstream Zionist leadership in Palestine accepted partition, reasoning that a small Jewish state with vulnerable borders was better than none at all. Arab leaders rejected partition outright -- in the ensuing war, Transjordan seized most of the land allotted for an Arab state (dropping the "Trans" from its name and renaming its new territory the "West Bank"), while Israel and Egypt grabbed the rest.