Prior to 1948, were there people who understoodd from the Bible that Israel would be re- born and how prevalent was this view? Also, prior to 1948, were there people who understood from the Bible that the re- birth of Israel woould herald in the end times and how prevalent was this view? Like you said, the only time we know that an interpretation of a prophecy is correct is after it has happened. So I wonder how many people got it right prior to 1948. If only few got it right then, it is also possible that the futurist view of prophecy may be incorrect or incomplete.
I don’t know of any statistics I could use to give you a specific answer, but I believe that a great majority of Christian theologians were surprised by the rebirth of Israel. After all such a thing had never happened before in history. Any even today many argue about its prophetic significance, believing the Church has replaced Israel.
But the logic behind your claim that if only a few understood Israel would be reborn before it happened in 1948 then maybe we who see its prophetic significance are wrong is flawed. History shows that majority views are often incorrect. For example, the majority used to believe that the Earth was the center of our solar system, and that it was flat instead of round. Even today the majority believes that humans evolved from monkeys. The Bible disputes all these beliefs just like it disputes the belief that there’s no prophetic significance to the re-birth of Israel. The validity of Biblical prophecy is not dependent upon human acceptance.