The exile of 2,000 years from the Land of Israel did not end in one sweeping return to the Land of Israel.
There were waves of return to the Land of Israel that began in the 1800’s – following the return of various individuals and groups in all previous centuries.
However, the return that began in the 1880’s was the first wave that led to more significant waves in the following decades.
By the time of the 1930’s there were already hundreds of thousands of Jews living in the Land of Israel – most of whom had immigrated in the previous decades.
The Land was no longer a wasteland.
But, what transpired after the formation of the State of Israel was a massive Aliyah surge of Biblical proportions.
`1-2 million Jews came from Arab Lands – many who were kicked out – and from then on, Israel has just grown and grown to the modern-day 6-7 million Jewish population in less than 70 years.