This week's book giveaways are in the Cloud and AI/ML forums. We're giving away four copies each of Cloud Native Patterns and Natural Language Processing and have the authors on-line! See this thread and this one for details.
A good question to ask yourself at this point is: Why am I using EL? or What benefit am I getting from it at this point?
If the point of EL, JSTL, and jsp:useBean is to help factor the Java scriptlets out of the JSP code, but you're still using Java scriptlets in your JSP code, what is EL doing for you? Why not just use <%=...%>?
From what I can see, it's just adding another layer of indirection and obsfucation.
If you're not going to move the scriptlets out of the JSPs, ditch all the other tools and write your code in Java. At least you'll make it easy for Java developers to work with your code.