Interesting article. You make good points but in your liberal fantasy, you fail to realize the true motivations behind Assad's stance. In recent months years, Syria and Turkey have been repairing and improving their ties. Turkey, until the incident in which several of its citizens premeditated and brutally carried out an attack on Israeli soldiers, was an ally of Israel. Now to President Assad's delight, Turkey is on the verge of cutting diplomatic ties with Israel. Where do Assad and Syria seek to gain from Israel and Turkey sweeping the floatilla event under the rug? A now hostile Turkey will inevitably use its influence in the region to undermine Israel's position and give concessions to the Arab countries. Now if Israel and Turkey agree to put this in the past, there will still be tensions between the two nations and Assad will play off these tensions to enhance Turkey's distance from Israel and advance his nation's rapprochement to Turkey. It is important to understand that Syria is still hostile to Israel as you clearly know given that you mention Assad's reassertion of control over Lebanon and building up of Hezbollah.
Palestinian man suffers light wounds from rocks thrown by Jewish men in Jerusalem (Haaretz)
from the article: A responsible neighbor