Such seems to be the case in this article from The Jerusalem Post. In it, Reuven Hammer notes that a time-honoured way of determining one's Jewishness has been changed by the Chareidi-controlled Rabbinate and he questions whether this is a good thing.
In 2010 the Israeli Chief Rabbinate decided to require documents proving the Jewishness of one’s mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and greatgreat- grandmother when applying for marriage. Needless to say this is a near impossibility for most people. Is this really Jewish law?
Many immigrants who claim to be Jewish have difficulty proving it to the satisfaction of the chief rabbinate because of the lack of reliable documentation.
Ketubot, or marriage contracts, have been largely non-existent among Russian Jews for over half a century. The result has been that often people who sincerely consider themselves Jews, and may indeed be, cannot prove that fact and are turned away by the official rabbinate when they wish to be married. Similar problems occur for American olim and others in Israel as well.
The well-known journalist Gershom Gorenberg wrote an article on such a case for The New York Times entitled “How Do You Prove You’re a Jew?” (New York Times Magazine, March 2, 2008) in which he stated that formerly in Europe, “Trust was the default position.”
He also cited the fact that the leading ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Israel in the years before and after the state was established, Avraham Yeshayahu Karlitz (known as the Hazon Ish, the name of his magnum opus on religious law), held the classical position. If someone arrived from another country claiming to be Jewish, he should be allowed to marry another Jew, even if nothing is known of his family.
On the other hand it is ironic that Hammer quotes from a JTS "responsa" to bolster his point. After all, when the classical Jewish codes were written, even when the Chazon Ish wrote his position on the matter, there was only one real way to become Jewish - al pi halacha under the guidance of a Torah-observant Rav.
Much has changed in the last 50 years and one wonders if the poskim who put so much faith in personal testimony would be willing to continue to hold that position.
Consider that the Reformers accept patrilineal lineage when it comes to defining a Jew. In other words, ignore the masses of "converts" they have created who are not Jewish al pi halacha but at least made a choice somewhere along the way to undergo some kind of process, however minimal, to join what they think is the Jewish religion. In addition to them there are how many non-Jews out there with a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who believe themselves to be Jewish because the kindly Reform rabbi at their Temple told them they are?
Add to this all the Conservative converts who are not genuinely Jewish al pi halacha. (And before any flames get fired keep in mind I'm not commenting on their worthiness or sincerity as human beings but simply stating a legal position)
Add to this all the Russians that claimed to be Jewish or were considered Jewish by the Sochnut in its zeal to bring as many people to Israel from the former Soviet Union as possible. Using criteria that even the Reformers might find too lenient, tens of thousands of non-Jews were moved from Russia to Israel and told that they just might be Jews on arrival.
Seen from this perspective the new Chareidi paranoia about who really is a Jew is understandable. Yes, the couple who show up from the US to register for marriage at the Rabbanut might be bona fide Jews al pi halacha. Or one could be the son of a non-Jewish mother and the other a Reform convert. You may disagree with the Orthodox position on matrilineal descent or non-Orthodox conversions but the guy at the Rabbanut is going to apply those standards at that point because those are the rules he knows and disqualify both members of the couple.
There is no question that the Orthodox monopoly on things like marriage and divorce in Israel has hurt people's perception of Torah observance and created a tremendous sense of resentment. This is a huge problem since one of the only really ways towards Jewish achdus is through the acceptance of a universal standard all main Jewish groups can accept. How can the Orthodox demand exclusive control over conversion, for example, if prominent members of that community behave in an abusive and condescending fashion?
There is no easy answer to this question. Hammer's article raised important points but his solution is not ideal. There is simply too much variability in the definition of "who is a Jew" amongst the non-Orthodox to make this issue go away.