Let's look at 1492 (the expulsion of the Sephardim), predominantly absorbed by the Ottoman empire yet no triumphant return to your most hallowed and sacred city? Perhaps, using your words, Jerusalem "was then considered a backwater city". Perhaps "the city suddenly seem(s) to (have) take(n) on a magical, magnetic meaning" for Jews as well.
Man and woman arrested for attempting to attack Israeli forces in Jerusalem's Old City (Haaretz)
from the article: Thank you, Eli Yishai, for exposing the peace process masquerade