With the founding of the State of Israel many claimed, this to be
the אתחלתא דגאולה (beginning of the redemption)
Most Chasidic ,Yeshivish and many Frum Yidden opposed
vehemently the usage of this terminology. They held establishing
a Jewish State in itself was against the Torah. They
also claimed that the Zionist plan was to destroy Yiddishkeit.
Therefore it can't be the beginning of redemption.
It is interesting that this term ( אתחלתא דגאולה) was first
used by the Ashkenazi Perushim in the year 1855. Ninety
years before the Zionist State.
It was only after the arrival of the Talmidei Bal Shem and
Gra that there were Ashkenazi Jews in Eretz Yisroel.
Until then the only Jews in E.Yisroel were the Sefardim.
The Sefardim felt threatened and intimidated with the
arrival of the Ashkenazi Yidden.
They were upset with the Ashkenazim for not willing to follow
Minhag Eretz Yisroel and adopt the Bais Yosef as the
Moro Deara Yisroel.(Rav of E.Yisroel)
The Ashkenazim followed the Pesokim of the Rema instead.
They also kept up with their European Minhagim.
As the Ashkenazi community kept growing, so too did
the animosity between the Sefardim and Ashkenazim.
The Sefardim having control of the Tzedakos,Shechita,
Mikvaos, Chevra Kadisha etc. created major difficulties
for the Ashkenazim. They suffered tremendously
being beholden to their Sefardic brethren .
The Chasam Sofer even mentions this in the Teshuvos
how one of his Talmidim described the suffering
under the Sefardim.
When the Kollelim started in E.Y. and foreign currency
poured in from Europe The Ashkenazim slowly managed
to establish themselves. They gradually built up their
own independent Mosdos etc.
When they started their own Chevra Kadisha and bought
their own burial plot on Har Hazeisim , They wrote that this is
the beginning of redemption אתחלתא דגאולה for the Ashkenazim
from the Sefardi slavery.