Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that his wife join him on his trip to Washington this week -- even if she was not invited.
The United States, which is hosting a Mideast peace summit, had asked Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to come without their spouses so that they may fully concentrate on negotiations aimed at ending months of stalemate.
"I am the prime minister of Israel. I do not accept dictates, on political matters or on personal ones," Netanyahu responded when asked about the decision by an Israel TV reporter.
The prime minister's office said Sarah Netanyahu would maintain a separate schedule from her husband during the summit, which opens Thursday and runs through Sunday.
Mrs. Netanyahu, the premier's third wife, has accompanied her husband on nearly every overseas trip and usually brings the couple's two young sons.