Résumé : Drawing on the classic theories of cleavages developed by Lipset and Rokkan, the article offers a new approach to understand the existing party system in Israel and a new typology of the Israeli cleavages. Through a socio-historical methodology, the analysis leads to theidentification of three cleavages, namely a religious-secular, a centre-periphery and a Weltanschauung cleavage, and offers an explanation for the non-crystallisation of the socioeconomic lines of opposition. The article finally tests the political alternative freezing hypothesis presented by Lipset and Rokkan. It reveals that the Israeli political system has known a crucial moment of political opening and democratisation in the late 1970s, after which the political structures and political families crystallised and remained unchanged.