Shooting with a long lens is just as disrespectful as getting up close. If you believe the people you are photographing don't want to be photographed in their grief then don't do it from any distance. That type of photography gives us just as much as a bad name.
Perhaps. But in the case I cited, which was just one of many examples I could have cited to underscore my point that longer focal lengths can be useful in street shooting, I didn't know that they didn't want to be photographed. I just thought it was disrespectful to even interrupt them to ask, which I typically do before shooting anyone. We're all going to be in a funeral one day, no one escapes that one; it's part of life. And the image I snapped from afar was quite respectful in that it showed little detail of the individuals involved, and more of the procession, the custom, the way in which this particular culture says goodbye to a loved one.
As others have pointed out, it's not productive to try and define "street shooting" for anyone else. But I think we can probably agree that street shooting occurs "on the street," that is, in public spaces where we all give up a bit of our privacy by virtue of simply being there.
Removing yourself from the situation by increasing distance removes a lot of emotion from the image. Watch the video Mark posted of Nachtwey, he is right in the middle of the scene very close to his subjects. You don't get those kinds of images being two blocks away. I said it before, if you don't feel comfortable shooting it up close, don't shoot it at all.
In the case of the funeral procession and without seeing the image, I would venture a guess that the shot is more documentary in nature than actual street photography.
And FWIW, Nachtwey doesn't shoot street photography, he is a documentary photographer. A lot of people seem to think if it's shot on the street it is "street" photography. That doesn't cut it in my view.