The comparison is invalid for several reasons:
- The pictures were probably selected to show the worst of Detroit vs. the best of Israel. The area of Israel shown, North Tel Aviv, is probably the richest. It is a primarily residential and commercial area, as opposed to the industrial area shown in Detroit.
- US Aid to Israel is overwhelmingly (> 99%) military aid – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_foreign_aid#Recipients . This aid is in the form of coupons to be spent on US military equipment. So partially this is a way to funnel money to US defense contractors and prevent a potential competitor from arising. The true market cost of these goods is probably lower than 3 billion if Israel wasn’t limited to specific providers.
- The US government did provide money to companies based in Detroit (http://theweek.com/article/index/253892/the-us-auto-bailout-is-officially-over-heres-what-america-lost-and-gained). It just didn’t help the city for some reason.
h/t Joseph Capdepon II.
Note: You can make a good case that Israel is a grownup country and should pay for its own defense (which is mostly does by a 6:1 margin, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures ). But that is a different matter than comparing it to Detroit.