Just as in was in the time of the ancients, there was only one country like Israel. Israel's city of the King, Jerusalem was in the middle of the travel routes to all parts of the known world. At the time of the early Kings to the time of the Babylonian captivity, Israel was a small country who believed in the worship of One God. The power and stories of this God and the sacrifices He demanded of His children, were very odd and not practiced by other early cultures in City States or Countries. It has never been a question of where the Jewish people came from or where they would gather in order to return to the land of their origins.
In our day, there are other countries that claim to be cultured from one religion or the other. Some Christian, Islam, Hindu and what have you, But there is only one Israel.
BTW did you know that Scripture actually told the descendants of Jacob, what month and year they would return to the land of Israel and reestablish their homeland.